XENIA — Greene Metropolitan Housing Authority, an organization committed to providing quality, affordable housing in an efficient manner, is reportedly struggling with internal issues that have recently risen to the surface.

Greene County Commissioners — during a work session last week — reviewed agency workplace issues raised by former comptroller Ben Smith earlier in the year. The BOCC discussed assigning an auditor to come in and do a work audit was suggested during the meeting but nothing has been set in concrete.

Some of the issues the commissioners discussed include:

— Smith claimed that the training he had received since arriving at GMHA was not sufficient to get “up to speed.”

— Computers were purchased but never implemented. Software not working properly and a computer maintenance team not available because computer services were not included in the budget.

— Weak communication between the executive director and the comptroller.

— Toxic work environment. Employees not knowing what their job entails and how to perform their duties. Discontent over wages, cliques, etc. Employees claiming they are owed back pay due to a HUD oversight. A wage survey is in the works.

— Outdated business agreements and contracts that had not been updated.

— Lack of teamwork, too much gossiping, employees feeling they are not getting paid the same despite doing the same job.

— Rent of a commercial property owned by the agency has not been raised in 12 years which could bring in more income for the agency if it was raised.

Commissioners were also told there were communication issues between Executive Director Brenda Smallwood and Smith, who exited before Smallwood could discuss and resolve the internal issues Smith had shared with her and the board.

The agency’s goal is to expand its housing supply and disperse housing throughout the county with each locality, offer better housing locations, aid in upgrading local housing though GMHA programs, be sensitive to the goals and desires of each community, and respect dignity and the tenants.

The board is comprised of members that represent various locations/entities: Smallwood reports to the board which includes Cecil Brown, chair (courts); Nancy Hadley, vice-chair (Beavercreek); Gerry Coen, former board member who has just resigned and moved out of state (Fairborn); Marilyn McCauley, board member (county commissioners); and Stacey Leggert, resident housing member.

Brown is currently working on the final report from the former comptroller’s initial complaint. There is not an on-sight comptroller at the moment.

“There are no financial improprieties that have surfaced,” said McCauley, who has been on the board about a year and was appointed to Alan Anderson’s seat after he resigned.

As of Sept. 1, 2023, 1,386 units have been leased through GMHA. Public housing (agency owned) includes 200 family units and 100 one bedroom apartments (disabled and elderly).

Reach Karen Rase at 937-502-4534.

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