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EDITORIAL: Michael C. Threatt’s Blog, July 2018 – “What does the Housing Authority of Tomorrow look like?”


Effective, today, July 31, 2018, all Public Housing Authorities (PHAs) nationwide are required to be Smoke-Free. I would like to introduce myself to the Sylacauga News community. My name is Michael C. Threatt and I am the new Executive Director/ CEO of the Sylacauga Housing Authority (SHA). As a part of the Inaugural Class of the “Top 40 under 40 in Central Alabama” and a Next Generation Leader, it is indeed a pleasure to bring my competence and talent to “Alabama’s Best Kept Secret,” the City of Sylacauga.

Real estate development is a driving force for community economic development. Specifically, when a business analysis is conducted, it starts with “rooftops” and the average price of homes. The average price of homes in a neighborhood is a direct reflection of the demographics and spending power in the community. This is a catalyst to draw residents, investors and other individuals to the area who could potentially stop by to spend money based on what is offered in the community.

The Marble City Square development is a perfect example of this. The City of Sylacauga has all the attributes of a thriving city, a prosperous economy, great schools, and a superb hospital. Moreover, as the largest affordable housing provider in Talladega County, the SHA plans to totally transform public housing in the City of Sylacauga. This will be done by changing the image of public housing in the community by developing affordable housing that is indistinguishable from market-rate housing that will improve the quality of life for the residents in the City of Sylacauga and Talladega County.


The City of Sylacauga is in a perfect location for mixed-income, mixed-use, & mixed-finance affordable housing. With this said, it is also perfect timing for the SHA to invest in developing and redeveloping quality affordable housing. I plan to make sure that the SHA upholds its commitment to providing affordable housing in the area. The SHA has begun to acquire land and buildings around the City of Sylacauga and Talladega County to prepare for sustainable affordable housing development.

This brings us to our topic of this month’s Blog, the Housing Authority of Tomorrow model. The SHA has started our process of creating a 21st-century technological environment that embraces a “High Performing” organizational culture that will augment our operations as a SMART Public Housing Authority (PHA). Our Housing Authority of Tomorrow model highlights our new mission and vision statements which are:

The mission of the Sylacauga Housing (SHA) is to provide healthy, safe, and sustainable affordable housing that promotes economic self-sufficiency programs, high-level aging in place services, and workforce development opportunities that improves the quality of life for the residents in the City of Sylacauga and Talladega County.

The vision of the SHA is to develop and redevelop vibrant mixed-finance, mixed-income, and mixed-use affordable housing communities that enhances community economic development and neighborhood revitalization in the City of Sylacauga and Talladega County.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development ‘s (HUD’s) mission for decades has been to provide decent, safe, and sanitary affordable housing. The SHA has taken the challenge of taking it a step further by providing healthy, safe, and sustainable affordable housing. On the same lines, the SHA began our listening tour in March, as we prepared to implement our Smoke-Free Housing initiative which became Effective on July 1, 2018. Our next step is to move forward with our Community Policing and Revitalization (CPR) program that will “breathe life back into our SHA communities.” Addressing crime and safety is a shared role among PHAs, criminal justice agencies, their partners, and the community as a whole. The SHA has partnered with the Sylacauga Police Department (SPD) to bring back the Northeast Precinct to the Drew Court community.

The SHA plans to create a high-quality affordable housing product and operate as a sustainable quasi-government entity. This means that the SHA will operate as a social entrepreneur and corporation that receives government funding. In my previous leadership roles, I improved the efficiency and effectiveness of housing operations for other PHAs including implementing best-practice and evidence-based practice models that resulted in increased productivity and financial savings in time, money, and materials. As I close this week’s blog, I am prepared to deliver the same results for the SHA as a Next Generation Leader and I would like to leave you with this quote by Whitney M. Young Jr., “it is better to be prepared for an opportunity and not to have one than to have an opportunity and not be prepared.”

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