Housing Authority considers revising personnel policies

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 22, 2013

By Kimberly Hopson

LAPLACE – It was business as usual for the St. John the Baptist Parish Housing Authority Board of Commissioners during their Monday evening meeting.
Agenda topics included the adoption of a revised personnel policy, approval of an unexcused absenteeism policy and an authorization to partner with the parish for the Choice Neighborhood 2013 Planning Grant.
The board briefly discussed whether their probationary period for new employees should be extended from six months to a full year. Regarding the change, some members of the board feel it takes at least a year for a new hire to truly learn the ins and outs of their
job. This learning period would justify the extension. Other members did not agree. The civil service board allows a maximum two-year probationary period, but members considered that it may prove to be a turn-off for new personnel. The probation period was ultimately left at six months.
Executive Director of the Housing Authority Trina Henderson said the organization is partnering with the parish, school board, sheriff’s department and Louisiana Housing Corporation to put together the application for the grant. The application deadline is May 28. Henderson said that the board has been working on the application for a little over a month.
“We’re putting the pieces together. It’s taking a community effort just to put the application together,” said Henderson.
The $500,000 Choice Neighborhood grant will pick up where Hope 6, a Housing and Urban Development initiative, left off. Henderson said the grant focuses on creating a plan to revitalize the housing development and its surrounding neighborhood.
“We’re going to dream what we want this community to look like. I can’t say what I want the community to look like — we’re going to need the residents that reside in the development and the residents who are directly affected by what we’re proposing to do. We want them to steer the direction of what they want to see this community look like,” continued Henderson.