Public housing to change hands

Mount Holly will likely hand over the operations of the city’s two public housing sites, Holly Hills and Rollins apartment complexes, to the Statesville Housing Authority, which has been managing both sites since 2007.

The city would no longer have the housing department in its annual budget or audits. Also, the city would eliminate dealing with bank account issues and any responsibility to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and other organizations.

The Statesville Housing Authority could offer more to the Holly Hills and Rollins residents through grant application awards, said David Meachem, executive director of the Statesville Housing Authority.  In 2009-10, the housing authority won more than $1.1 million in customer service-related grant funding.

The housing authority is also going to see a dramatic reduction in its budget, but taking over operations of the Mount Holly sites could help make up the roughly $50,000 loss.

“We hope this doesn’t continue for a long period of time,” Meachem said. “We can’t keep writing checks we can’t pay for. Don’t balance the budget on the backs of the people. You don’t have the assets, you can’t pay the salaries. That is what we are looking at today.”

The council decided to move forward with the process of turning over Holly Hills and Rollins apartments to the Statesville agency.

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