Lathrop Homes Private Management

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It’s been two years almost since private management began to run family and senior housing. So, as it is time for these companies to bid on their contracts again, I thought, ‘Why not talk with the residents as well as the managers and see what grades they give them.’

I also wanted to see how management rates themselves. So I went into the developments and spoke with both. They got some reports of praise as well as some criticism. I also felt management did a good job the way they answered the questions that were put to them that came from residents as well as myself – speaking on how they operate in the development and how they would like to continue to operate. Let’s hear what everyone had to say.

A Lathrop Homes Resident
“Personally, I feel that the US Dwellings – the management that operates in the development where I live, which is Lathrop, has done pretty good compared to the way it was when CHA ran things in the development. It still has a ways to go but some of the things such have gotten somewhat better.

“The managers that have come with this company will listen to residents’ complaints and have really, in most instances, tried to help. One thing that I know, they tried to work on the roach problem, but the company they hired is not doing such a good job. I see a lot of people from the community working with the maintenance, which is good because it’s helping residents to get a job and you really have to have one now with all the government cuts. It also seems like more residents come to community meetings. If I had to rate them, I would give them a 7.”

Community volunteer
“I have been living in the Lathrop Homes for a period of 10 years and have seen many managers come and go through CHA. And then it seemed every time we got one that really worked for the better of the development, they were transferred. “Then along came the change and private management took over. At first, I wasn’t sure about it because I really wanted resident management. But since we weren’t allowed for whatever reason, as we all know in everything, there is good and bad.

“They are still kind of new and I know they have to work within a budget but what I don’t understand is the outrageous prices that are charged for the big kitchen light bulbs that you can pick up at any store cheaper. Also, the security is a little better but when are we going to see them walking the hallways? It is getting ready to be summer and hopefully we won’t have a bad summer.

“Also, when you go to the office, it seems certain residents get better treatment than others. And as far as the grade, I will give them a 7”.

Tenant Patrol
Tenant Patroller #1: “Number one, personally, I feel that private management has done a great job. The work orders are being done a little quicker and the grounds are kept up. We don’t see a lot of paper and the graffiti problem isn’t as bad now.

“If only the police and management would work together about this hanging out in front of the building for those who don’t even live in the development and are not visiting any one.

“The grade I would give them would be a 9. Keep up the good work for I know it is a challenge.”

Tenant patroller #2: “Some things are good about private management but it is still to early to say. They have proven to be better. The manager here is a very nice guy. He sits and listens and tries to help if it is at all possible. He has given a lot of the residents jobs, mostly with maintenance, which is a start.

“The work order system needs to be upgraded because you don’t get an order number when you call in to place your order. But we do know that they are reading and paying more attention to walk down reports and are trying to board up and replace lights in halls more quickly.

I do wish that the management would work more closely with tenant patrol. When it comes to our court advocacy, they are not there or if the manager sends someone to court, they leave before it is over. And also for them to work more closely with CAPS (the Community Alternative Policing Strategy) but in am going to work with them the best I can and hope to make our development better and safer. I grade them a 9.”

A Lathrop Homes Resident
“I am not paying any rent cause I don’t feel they do anything. I have been asking to be transferred out of this development and they won’t listen.

“I don’t have a really bad unit but the people hang in the unit next door and I live on the third floor and I think they are going to start a fire.

“The management did come out and board it up but they are right back in there and it makes you afraid to come in and out.

“I don’t go over to management too much. I really thought it was the same. No grade.

Another resident would like to see something done about plumbing, for this situation has been ongoing.

Ted Stewart
Manager of Lathrop Homes

Most of the questions that were asked of Stewart are from the complaints that I got when I spoke with residents on how they would grade private management. Stewart was a very down to earth, laid back person and he seemed to have resident concerns as one of his first priories. When asked, he said that he thought of Lathrop as a “partnership between residents, LAC management and the surrounding communities and if everyone one worked together, this could really be great for everyone involved. But the main thing residents need to be a part of decision making, for this is where they live and sometimes it makes things better when you are a part. For you are not going to destroy or see anyone else destroy something you are a part of.

“We intend to work on the squatter situation. We are already doing some things and it’s not as bad as they once were. And all paper received from tenant patrol is checked and signed by management and hall lights and board ups are looked into as soon as possible. And work orders are being taken care of in a timely fashion and numbers should be given at time work order is placed.

“Some residents have shown appreciation to management in a lot of ways. Some will always feel we are not doing enough but we will work with and do the best we can for everyone. And as long as our budget permits, we will have residents as employees and hope we can keep a working relationship with residents, LAC management and the surrounding community to rebuild a better and stronger Lathrop for the future.

“Also, management is open for suggestions from residents on how they can be served better”

West Haven Management
I have had the honor of working with both the operations manager and the development manager of Henry Horner Homes and West Haven. That made it a little easier to ask questions of them. Also, both have been residents of CHA and one currently is. I pretty much asked them the same questions that the residents of Lathrop Homes wanted asked of their managers.

One question: “How does it feel to manage where you live?”

The manager answered, “Well, it really is a good thing because you get a chance to look at everything from the residents’ side and you also know what type of budget you have and what you can and can’t do, even though you would very much like to. And also, you pretty much know what’s going on in the development because you live there so you can address and relate as well.

“Because we have heard a lot of residents tell management, ‘You’re not here after 5p.m.’ And you pretty much know the residents who really want to work when it comes to talking about resident jobs. So there are a lot of advantages as well disadvantages.

“Residents have spoken pretty much in favor of PM 1 management. They have worked hard trying to have a good relationship with residents as well as hiring residents. As long as we are the management here, the residents will be our first priority.”

A West Haven Resident

“Well, some things could be better but so far management has tried to work with the residents. The work order system could be improved. And they need to work at the problem of undesirables who don’t live here but want to mess up things for the residents. Most of these people are not even visiting residents. Right now, I’ll just say, let’s see what is ahead for the residents. Let’s all try and work together to keep our homes in the way they were when we moved into West Haven for it is truly a blessing to have something so nice, be it managed by CHA or private.

“We have all got to work together to make people who are always criticizing people of CHA. Let’s let them know we like nice things too.”

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