Top members of Decatur Housing Authority announce retirements after investigation

Top members of Decatur Housing Authority announce retirements after investigation
The Westgate Gardens apartment complex in Decatur is designed for low-income elderly residents. According to the US Dept. of Housing and Urban Development, the Decatur Housing Authority steered Black applicants to this area instead of two riverfront properties. (Source: Eric Fleischauer, Decatur Daily)

DECATUR, Ala. (WAFF) - Less than two months after news broke of a federal investigation into the Decatur Housing Authority, two of it’s top board members announced their plans to retire.

As we told you in August, the Housing Authority was investigated by HUD, which found evidence of racial bias. The investigation claimed that white applicants were given preferential treatment over others. In many situations, investigators found Black applicants were funneled to Westgate Gardens, while others were sent to live at Summer Manor or Jordan-Neill towers.

In July, the Housing Authority settled the claims for $200,000 payable to victims of the alleged discrimination, a commitment to upgrade Westgate Gardens at an estimated cost of $1 million and a promise to revise its waiting-list policies.

In a statement, the Housing Authority said it denied liability and entered into the settlement to avoid the expense of litigation.

Now, our news partners at the Decatur Daily are reporting that Chief Operating Officer Andy Holloway and Director of Housing Jeff Snead will both retire by mid-February. Holloway’s tenure will end January 8th. Snead will technically retire February 15th, but he has enough unused leave time built up so that he’s no longer working now. Snead has been with the Housing Authority for 30 years, Holloway is in his 28th year. Both say this has been their plan for almost a year.

Decatur Councilman Billy Jackson said he doesn’t know Holloway very well but he dealt with Snead a lot over the years when constituents went to the councilman with concerns or complaints. “Jeff was always quick and fast in his response,” Jackson said. “I don’t know of a better person than Jeff Snead.”

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