Birmingham Housing Authority announces $6M grant, safety upgrades
A new grant totaling $6 million will allow the Housing Authority of Birmingham District (HABD) to make significant safety and quality of life improvements to its facilities across the city.
Last week, HABD CEO David Northern Sr. announced the capital fund grant during a parking lot press conference at Birmingham's Collegeville public housing complex. Northern was joined by Mayor Randall Woodfin and Birmingham police chief Patrick Smith in celebrating the grant and the planned public safety upgrades for HABD properties.
In his remarks, Northern recounted the difficult decisions he faced in revising already budgeted funds to meet pressing public safety and quality of life needs at HABD properties.
"Our team at the housing authority, our board members, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, we understand the priority need of safety, [as well as] decent and sanitary housing. And as we continually work to reposition our properties in this community, we will also work to make it safe," said Northern. He also emphasized the importance of partnership and collaboration between the city, the police department, and community shareholders.
Calling public safety "a citywide priority," Mayor Woodfin took to the podium to praise HABD's leadership for their plan to use grant funding to add client services and youth programming for public housing residents. Under the grant, broadband connectivity and internet access within HABD buildings will also be expanded.
"We owe it to every child that lives in the Birmingham public housing community to do everything we can to keep them safe. When residents lay their heads down at night, they deserve to feel safe," said Woodfin.
City police Chief Patrick Smith spoke during the conference as well, outlining BPD's role in the safety upgrades. Chief Smith also shared upcoming plans for policing in Birmingham, including the construction of what he called a "Real Time Crime Center."
"Everything will be funneled into the Real Time Crime Center [including] street level cameras, [police] body cameras, and license plate recognition. Everything will help us achieve public safety within the community and make sure the residents feel safe when they go out,” Smith explained.
Funds from the grant will be distributed across several HABD properties throughout Birmingham. Upgraded surveillance cameras and license plate readers located at the public housing complexes will be monitored in real time, around the clock by the Birmingham Police Department.
The following properties will receive funds:
Smithfield Court - $750,000
Marks Village - $500,000
Elyton Village - $500,000
Tom Brown Village - $500,000
Rev. Dr. Morrell Todd Holmes - $500,000
Collegeville - $350,000
Kimbrough Homes - $250,000
Roosevelt City - $250,000
North Birmingham Homes - $200,000
Cooper Green Homes - $200,000
Harris Homes - $200,00
Benjamin Greene - $150,000