Politicians call it a big deal but some employees call it a mistake!
Today City and County leaders announced that the Charleston and Kanawha County housing authorities are joining forces!
What is emerging from this merger!
A streamlined service of County and City agencies combined into one.
"It makes us eligible for more tax credits and money."
Kent Carper, Kanawha County Commissioner tells us, "What this was all about was, can we consolidate, can we bring in more federal dollars?"
Consolidation equals qualifying for federal funding instead of competing for it!
Funding that will pay for new public housing on Patrick Street and improvements of problematic places like Washington Manor and Little Paige.
Linda Davis Kanawha County Housing says, "I've seen both sides of how it works."
What Linda Davis doesn't see are the benefits outweighing the drawbacks. She’s worked for both the city and county housing authorities.
"There wasn't any problem with us being a troubled agency or whatever and then all of a sudden they decide they're going to merger us."
Part of the problem, merging means moving!
Kanawha housing will be out of it's own home on Hale Street. Employees have to transfer to city offices on the west-side.
Linda’s concern, "I just feel sorry for the people that have to go."
But city and county leaders say there isn't time to be sorry the merger is the only way to move forward.
There is talk of merging other services like fire departments and EMS services. But that would take some time. Also, county leaders say even though the housing authorities are merging services, no jobs will be lost.