Opp Housing Authority gets $250K security grant

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 23, 2016

The Housing Authority of Opp was awarded a $250,000 grant this week.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded $5 million in grants to 24 public housing authorities in an effort to keep public housing residents safe and secure.

In Opp, the funds will go to install camera video systems, security doors and fencing at the housing authority.

“The grant will be used at all of our developments we have, and we have three different sites,” said Opp Housing Authority Director Beverly Bell-Barber.

Barber said that she’s been working to get the grant for three years.

“I’m so excited,” she said. “This is my third year applying. The first year, it was accepted, but they go through a lottery system and we weren’t selected. The second year came about and I had everything right and I was disqualified because they couldn’t open my disc. Then, I submitted this year’s in April and just found out we were awarded.”

HUD’s capital fund emergency safety and security program supports public housing authorities as they address the safety of public housing residents.

These grants may be used to install, repair or replace capital needs items including security systems/surveillance cameras, fencing, lighting systems, emergency alarm systems, window bars, deadbolt locks and doors.

Barber said that they will use the funds to help deter crime and other mischievousness.

“There are mischievous people all around,” she said. “We are trying to take extra steps and extra precautions to keep people from doing things. We just want to deter it and not be like larger housing authorities.”