by Jordan Green

Items from across the Triad and beyond by Jordan Green

Housing Authority CEO predicts demise of public housing

Larry Woods, CEO of the Housing Authority of Winston-Salem, shared a harsh vision of the future of public housing in Winston- Salem as a guest at a constituent meeting held by East Ward Councilman Derwin Montgomery at Shiloh Baptist Church last week.

Speaking to about 25 East Ward residents, many of whom are lower income or middle class, retired or working and neighbors of public housing residents, Woods described a “step-up housing” program the agency will roll out next month that will cater to public housing residents who are working fulltime and want to move off government assistance and potentially become homeowners. Woods presented the initiative as an opportunity for public housing residents who recognize that the days of government assistance are limited

and want to get out in front of the drawdown. “Free housing is not going to be here anymore,” Woods said. “You need to get a grip on it. The country’s going broke.”

Woods said the housing authority will begin orientation and family assessments in September. The agency is targeting Cleveland Avenue Homes, Piedmont Park Apartments and Sunrise Towers, and will hold community meetings to notify residents of the opportunity. He said the agency’s goal is to create 150 to 200 units at the Oaks at Tenth community for the initiative.

“I don’t care who is the president.” Woods said. This country is going broke. The country is trillions of dollars in debt. No one is going to raise taxes. This country is not going to cut spending on the military. So what’s left? Social services. They’re already talking about cutting food stamps. If you don’t think they’re going to cut housing, they’re going to cut housing.”