History of the Housing Authority of the City of Richmond, Indiana
In 1968 the Common Council created by unanimous vote, the Housing Authority of the City of Richmond (HACR) to provide for low-rent housing units for low-income families and elderly residents. There were five (5) members of the HACR Board of Commissioners who were appointed by the Mayor to serve in a voluntary capacity. Those members were Harold Chope, Chairman, Merle Henderson, Alonzo Lare, Mrs. Seymour Rosenbury, and Dr. Ralph Smith. Ronald Maze served as the Authority's first Executive Director.
Many dedicated people have served HACR. The following is a list of Executive Directors in order of service:
- Ronald Maze - 1968-1970
- Phillip Reid - 1970-1971
- Robert Godsey - 1971-1975
- John T. Flemming - 1975-1978
- Keith McGathey - 1978-1996
- Maxine Bragg - 1996-1998
- Sarah Johnston - 1998-1999
- Derek White - 2000-2021
- Keon Jackson - 2021-Current
HACR's program is based on the principle that every American family is entitled to live in a decent, safe, and sanitary home regardless of income or economic status. Hundreds of families in Richmond were forced to live in sub-standard housing because they could not afford to live in a decent home.
In 1967 the "Build A Better America" committee survey team, sponsored by the National Real Estate Board, visited Richmond long enough to see for themselves some of the poor housing conditions that existed at that time. Their observations and printed report entitled "Richmond Tomorrow," rated Richmond among the lowest of the medium-sized cities in the Midwest in providing adequate housing for its low-income citizens.
At that time there were over 1400 humanly uninhabitable dwellings in the city. Through months of research, consultations with other Housing Authorities, visits to successful public housing properties, and lengthy investigations of available sites, HACR sought to carefully build a program to help families improve themselves.