Delaware County Daily Times: Chester Housing Authority gives ex-convicts a second chance

Wilbert L. Jarrett Sr. is a 45-year-old Parkside resident employed as a mechanic’s aid for the Chester Housing Authority. He is a married father of four. He is a Navy veteran who served for eight years. And he is an ex-convict. Jarrett served 18 months in prison for a 2008 conviction of drug possession with intent, and since his release has been working for the housing authority under a program where ex-offenders are given a job and an opportunity to turn theirs lives around. He has been a model employee, according to CHA Executive Director Steve Fischer, and Jarrett said the job has given him a chance to succeed in life.

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Chester Spirit: Free at last! After 20 years, Chester Housing Authority returned to local control

The Chester Housing Authority (CHA), after 20 years under control of a federal court judge, has been released from its receivership and, according to federal court Judge Norma L. Shapiro, has earned the privilege of self-determination. To be sure, CHA has come a long way since a late 1980’s lawsuit filed against it for deplorable conditions under which many residents lived. The suit led to a takeover of the authority by the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). When HUD was unsuccessful in producing needed changes, it asked Shapiro to assume oversight herself in June 1994. In lifting the receivership, Shapiro cited “dramatic improvements” over the years that include safer property conditions, a better voucher program and housing authority staff members serving on national industry boards.

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Philadelphia Inquirer: Judge ends oversight of Chester Housing Authority

Decades after dilapidated buildings filled with crime and drugs drove tenants to file a class-action lawsuit against the Chester Housing Authority, the agency has been released from federal receivership. The move, announced Monday, marks the completion of an overhaul of the public housing agency, which had been under the oversight of a federal judge since 1994.

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Delaware County Daily Times: Judge terminates receivership of Chester Housing Authority

A federal judge terminated the nearly 25-year receivership of the Chester Housing Authority on Dec. 31, saying that the appointed leaders of the agency have made significant progress in helping to turn it around. Judge Norma L. Shapiro issued an order Dec. 31 that returns control of the housing authority to its appointed Board of Commissioners, a move that came after a year of planning. The receivership began in 1990 following a federal lawsuit filed by several residents of housing authority properties who claimed the authority was not providing adequate housing. Many housing units were in disrepair and unsanitary, and the governing body had been overwhelmed by corruption.

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Federal Judge ends 20-year Receivership of Chester Housing Authority

Citing a dramatic improvement in performance in recent years, U. S. Judge Norma L. Shapiro has issued an order ending the federal court’s oversight of the Chester Housing Authority (CHA) after 20 years. CHA had been the only remaining housing authority in the nation overseen by a federal judge. CHA tenants filed suit in the late 1980’s against the deplorable conditions under which many public housing residents lived. The suit led to a takeover of the authority by the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). When HUD was unsuccessful in producing needed changes, it asked Judge Shapiro to assume oversight herself in June 1994.

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