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LHA Turmoil

Posted on 7th December 2017 at 08:53

It appears that trouble is brewing between the Longview Housing Authority and the Longview City Council, as some Council members are accusing the agency of “inefficiency,” while also wondering if the organization is working to improve housing conditions and availability in the city. The Daily News has details about the controversy, which apparently started with a November 17th e-mail from Council member Mike Wallin to Mayor Don Jensen and city administrative staff. TDN reports that Jensen plans to ask all six LHA board members to resign; those who don’t resign would be accused of “inefficiency,” which could also lead to their removal. LHA Director Chris Pegg and Board member Bruce Fischer tell the paper that they’re surprised by the accusations, and they also say that a wholesale replacement of the board could jeopardize funding of current and future projects. Jensen says that he’s concerned that the current LHA board and management don’t have Longview as a priority, pointing to the LHA’s development of the Lilac Place housing project in Woodland. Pegg says that a small portion of the funding for that project came from the recent sale of the Blackstone Apartments, but she also says that building was originally purchased with tax-exempt housing revenue bonds, not funding from the city. The email indicates that action by Jensen and the Council could happen as soon as tonight, but Jensen now says that they don’t expect to bring this up to the Council until the beginning of next year.