Reactions to retirement of LMHA executive director Lisa Osanka
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Louisville Metro Housing Authority Executive Director Lisa Osanka announced Thursday she would be retiring once Mayor Craig Greenberg appoints a successor.
Her resignation comes after multiple WAVE Troubleshooter investigations exposing filthy living conditions at properties run by Metro Housing Authority.
Mold, flooding, damaged floors and walls, roaches and mice are just a few of the issues residents have experienced at Louisville’s public housing complexes, including Dosker Manor Apartments.
We spoke with District 1 Metro Councilwoman Tammy Hawkins, who has been vocal about the living conditions. She held a press conference last month demanding that LMHA take action.
With new leadership now coming in, she’s hoping to see some change.
“As many complaints as the Housing Authority has had, you can not turn a blind eye,” Hawkins said. “I think a blind eye has been turned for quite some time now.”
She’s been documenting the complaints from tenants. She said at some properties anyone can come and go as they please, which has led to a string of thefts.
Hawkins said she turned to the city’s Codes and Regulation Department to inspect the properties.
“Houses, apartments, that a lot of my constituents live in, a lot of predominantly the west end areas, a lot of those units had failed,” Hawkins said.
Hawkins said when Section 8 Housing fails inspection, there’s often nowhere else for tenants to go.
“The Section 8 program does not have a system in place where if your unit fails, and even if it fails a couple of months, they don’t have anything in place for the tenant,” Hawkins said.
As someone who used to be a participant in Section 8 Housing, she tries to be an advocate for tenants who are scared to speak up.
“We have to show up,” Hawkins said. “I’ll be your voice. I’ll make sure there will not be any retaliation.”
WAVE News asked what qualities she would like to see in the board’s next executive director.
“Someone with very good energy, compassion, that has that go-get,” Hawkins said. “They’re jumping into a seat right now that’s not pretty.”
In a press release, Lisa Osanka gave a statement about her decision to retire.
There is a Metro Housing Authority board meeting on Sept. 19 at 3:30 p.m. at the LMHA United Building.
Hawkins is encouraging anyone with concerns about Section 8 or public housing to come to the meeting. Her office can be reached at 502-574-1101.
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