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Auburn Forward Fall 2019

Auburn Forward Fall 2019 - Cover

Auburn Forward

Fall 2019

Summer Recap

See all that happened this summer and prepare for what's coming this fall

Resident Success

Auburn Forward Fall 2019 Newsletter Front Page with Tiger and Youth resident at National Night Out

Auburn Forward Fall 2019 (From the CEO) - Page 2


Chief Executive Officer Sharon Tolbert

Sharon N. Tolbert, Chief Executive Officer

Welcome to the Auburn Housing Authority's (AHA) quarterly newsletter, Auburn Forward! It is our desire that the Auburn Forward newsletter will be used as a useful tool to communicate upcoming events, news and more with our residents, community partners and the public at large.

It is truly my pleasure to serve as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the AHA. I was appointed CEO on January 2, 2015. I was born and raised in Auburn and have many special childhood memories from all of our housing communities to include Ridgecrest, Drake, Moton, East Park, Porter and Sparkman. It is my heart-felt desire to enhance affordable housing options for families that are in need of safe and descent housing. I promote programs to achieve the mission of providing personal, economic, and social upward mobility to provide individuals and families the opportunity to make the transition from subsidized to non-subsidized housing.

With the support and approval of the AHA's Board of Commissioners, the AHA has developed a 5-Year Strategic Plan which serves as a comprehensive housing strategy and resident development plan as a systematic approach of outlining the desired vision of AHA and translating this vision into broadly defined goals and objectives and a sequence of steps to achieve them. We will keep you informed as we continue to make progress towards meeting our goals and objectives.

For more information, please visit the AHA's website at and sign up for "News and More" to receive email and text notifications. Also, be sure to connect with us on social media!

Sharon N. Tolbert

Auburn Forward Fall 2019 (Comissioner's Corner) - Page 3


Robert Smith Chairperson Robert Smith,
Nolan Tolbert Commissioner Nolan Torbert, Sr.,
John Saidla Commissioner John Saidla,
Marguerite White Resident Commissioner Marguerite White,
not pictured Deborah Hand,
Resident Commissioner


AHA is governed by a five-member Board of Commissioners, representing a cross-section of the community and appointed by the Mayor of the City of Auburn. One member must be a resident of an AHA property or program. The Commissioners are responsible for overseeing the fiscal management of the agency and is involved in reviewing and approving all policies pertaining to the housing authority. Board members also appoint a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) to administer the daily affairs of the housing authority. Board meetings are held at noon on the last Tuesday of each month. The meeting is held at the Auburn Housing Authority located at 931 Booker Street. The meeting date is subject to change.


Nolan Tolbert Commissioner of the Year

Commissioner Torbert serves as the Vice-Chairperson of the AHA's Board of Commissioners. Commissioner Torbert was awarded the 2018 SERC-NAHRO Commissioner of the Year Award and he was the recipient of the 2017 AAHRA Outstanding Commissioner of the Year Award.



Commissioners Marguerite White and Deborah Hand completed their Commissioner's certification during the AAHRA Convention in August 2019.

Auburn Forward Fall 2019 (Human Resources & News) Page 4


New AHA Employees

Rachetta Stephens AHA Employee Richetta Stephens
Procurement Specialist
AJ Harris AHA Employee A.J. Harris
Director of Property Operations
Carrie Smith AHA Employee Carrie Smith
Regional Property Manager
Demetrius Parham AHA Employee Demetrius Parham
Maintenance Laborer
Harvey Maddox AHA Employee Harvey Maddox
Maintenance Mechanic Assistant
  Jonathan (Matt) Robinson
Maintenance Mechanic Assistant


NAHRO 2019
AHA was awarded the 2019 NAHRO Award of Merit for the Administrative Innovation Category for its website.



HCV Receptionist/Clerk Job Vacancy
FSS Coordinator Job Vacancy
For more information on these positions or to apply, please visit



Fall Festival
Saturday, October 26th - 11 AM
MLK Park

Free fun for the whole family.
Senior Residents needing transportation should contact:
Connie Taylor at 334-734-2777

Auburn Forward Fall 2019 (Senior Celebrations) Page 5

Senior Celebrations

Older American Celebration group picnic

Communities that encourage the contributions of older adults are stronger!

Every May, the Administration for Community Living leads our nation's observance of Older Americans Month. The 2019 theme, Connect, Create, Contribute, encourages older adults and their communities to:
-Connect with friends, family, and services that support participation.
-Create by engaging in activities that promote learning, health, and personal enrichment. 
-Contribute time, talent, and life experience to benefit others.

During the month-long celebration, our seniors had the opportunity to take part in festivities at Keisel Park and travel to the Talladega NASCAR Hall of Fame to participate in the May Day luncheon. Both events provided our senior residents with information, resources, good food, lots of dancing, and great fun! Our seniors enjoyed their time together and can't wait to participate again next year!

Communities that encourage the contributions of older adults are stronger! By engaging and supporting all community members, we recognize that older adults play a key role in the vitality of our neighborhoods, networks, and lives.

Older American Celebration participants

Older American event participants

Older American event participants and staff


Upcoming Senior Events:

Wonderful Wednesdays
Every Wednesday at 12:30 PM

Auburn Housing Authority
Porter Community Center
415 White Street, Auburn, AL

Lunch provided by Auburn University's Campus Kitchens


Elderly Evening Out & Dinner
Provided by: Seventh-day Adventists

October 16, 2019, at 5:00 PM

Lafayette Housing Authority Jenkins Community Center
Transportation will be provided.

Auburn Forward Fall 2019 (Resident Advocates) Page 6

Resident Advocates

The RAB serves as an advocate for families that are served by the Auburn, LaFayette and Roanoke Housing Authorities.

Resident Advisory Board Members

Our Resident Advisory Board (RAB) recently attended the "Uniting to Conquer" Resident Council Empowerment Conference in Birmingham, AL. The conference had visitors from multiple states throughout the southeast region to gather and learn about ways to create programs and initiatives that will help strengthen our communities.

During the conference our RAB had the opportunity to meet, share, and learn from others their responsibilities, best practices, and ways to better advocate for the residents of Auburn, Lafayette, and Roanoke Housing Authorities.

Conference attendees left motivated and excited to serve! Be on the lookout for new initiatives coming to an area near you soon! Interested in getting involved, don't hesitate to contact a member of the Resident Advisory Board or Resident Services for details.


Resident Advisory Board Members at Conference

Resident Advisory Board Members at Conference

Resident Advisory Board Members at Conference Mardi Gras Theme

Some of the responsibilities of the Resident Advisory Board are as follows:

-Managing tenant participation funds and grants.
-Mentoring/coaching young residents to become future leaders.
-Reviews HUD's Annual Plan before implementation.
-Implementing "Passion Projects" to improve the well-being of families.
-Preparing for change in the housing regulations/operations.
-Conducting successful resident elections.


The mission of the RAB is to empower low to moderate-income level residents including Section 8 recipients in their journey to become self-sufficient by representing their interest, advocating for their needs, and collaborating with other organizations to ensure that services are provided. For more information contact: Resident Services at (334) 821-2262 Ext 230

Auburn Forward Fall 2019 (Removing Barriers) Page 7

Removing Barriers

Family Self-Sufficiency Program

Family Self Sufficiency Program members

Our Family Self Sufficiency (FSS) program participants are seen here working towards their year-end goals. As an FSS participant, you work with a coordinator who provides the tools, encouragement,  referrals, and support you need to help improve your economic situation.

The FSS program is to provide families the opportunities to remove barriers by identifying resources in the community that will assist them in achieving economic independence. For more information or to enroll, contact Charlotte Mattox at 334.821.2262 ext 230.


Are you ready to be a homeowner?

First Time Home Buyer Seminar

Home buyer seminar speaker and attendees

AHA held a Homeownership Workshop in June 2019. Auburn Bank and the Alabama Housing Finance Authority provided information on, "How to become a first time home buyer". Attendees received information on the importance of having good credit, credit repair, and programs that are available to assist with homeownership.

Building or improving your credit takes time, and it's best to start well before you begin touring houses. Here are a few tips for restoring credit:

-Make 100% of your payments on time.
-Avoid opening too many accounts at once.
-Always check your credit reports for errors

Auburn Forward Fall 2019 (Latoya Gipson) Page 8

Latoya Gipson

Fall 2015 graduate Latoya Gipson describes herself as "super active." She is in her third year as a home health provider with Comfort  Keepers©, her ninth year as a custom cake maker and her fourth year as a volunteer at East Alabama Medical Center. Growing up in a family of care-givers with both father and stepmother in nursing careers, Latoya felt drawn to work with those needing special care. To tap her creative side, she started her own business designing and creating custom cakes for birthdays, anniversaries and weddings. After an illness left her temporarily disabled, Latoya found herself out of the workforce for several years. This was especially difficult for one who was used to an active, social life.

She found Christian Women's Job Corps (CWJC) and was renewed. "I loved everything about CWJC, but it was the fellowship with so many other women that was most exciting for me. I needed and enjoyed the daily social interaction. The Time Management class was especially helpful to me." As Latoya's energy and stamina improved, she knew she wanted to return to her active lifestyle. Latoya found the strong spiritual component of CWJC provided her with a renewed excitement. "You just don't find anything so genuine! The caring instructors and all the invaluable resources blew me away!" Latoya can't help looking for prospective participants. "It was a breathtaking experience! I have referred many women to CWJC." Thank you, Latoya, for representing CWJC so well in our community and for spreading the word about our ministry.

Resident Success Story

Auburn Forward Fall 2019 (Student News) - Page 9

Careers Begin at Job Corps

Tamarcus at Job Corps

Recently, our Auburn High School graduate, Tamarcus Finley, along with two of our Auburn University practicum interns, Kyra Smith and Courtney McCoy, toured the Montgomery Job Corp Center. Tamarcus (Tank) has shown interest in joining the National Guard.  During the tour, he discovered the center would pair him with a mentor to help him pass the entrance exam and help him follow procedure while he attends the Job Corp. He was very excited and wanted some of his friends to tour the center as well. Please contact Charlotte Mattox at 334.821.2262 ext 230 if you are interested in touring the Job Corps. 

Job Corps is a tuition-free training and education program that connects eligible young men and women with the skills and educational opportunities they need to establish real careers. Job Corps offers career training in high-growth industries that will give you the hands-on, practical experience you need to begin working toward a long-term, successful career- not just a job, but an actual CAREER that you can build on for the rest of your life.



Money for College

The Auburn Housing Authority assists Auburn High School seniors by paying fees for cap and gown, ACT and SAT testing and Project Graduation.  Funding is available to seniors that are assisted by the AHA and attends school in the Auburn city limits. Funding is on a first-come, first-served basis.


The 2020 PHADA Scholarship Program Applications are due by January 31, 2020. Visit the link below for more information:

Auburn Forward Fall 2019 - Page 10

5 Things to Add to Your Fall To-Do List

You probably give your home a deep clean in the spring, but you should also show it some love at the beginning of fall. Here's where to start:

1. Perform a pantry audit. Remove all the cans and boxes from the shelves, and vacuum away any lingering dust or crumbs. Then, inspect each item before putting it back in its place, tossing anything that is expired or past its prime.

2. Test and clean your smoke detectors. Using your vacuum cleaner's soft brush attachment, clean in and around the detectors' openings. If any are more than 10 years old, replace them.

3. Flip your mattress. Sprinkle the mattress with baking soda to neutralize odors, and then vacuum it up.

4. Shampoo your carpet. Get a jump on holiday party season by giving your carpeting a good scrub.

5. Vacuum all upholstered surfaces. Give sofas and chairs a good vacuuming, making sure to hit both sides of the cushions, the back, sides, arms, and even the platform underneath the cushions.


Partner Spotlight

Our House Auburn Volunteer with kid at breakfast

Our House owns two houses that are across the street from Ridgecrest. Neighborhood kids come to "Our House" after school to get a healthy snack and help with homework. During the summer, they also offer weekly day camps and provide enrichment activities for our youth throughout the year. 

On First Saturdays of the month, Our House and the Church of the Highlands Dream Center partner together to feed breakfast to the Ridgecrest, Drake, and Moton Communities which is part of their Saturday Morning Breakfast Club. To learn more about this awesome nonprofit serving our youth visit >


Auburn Forward Fall 2019 (Block Parties) Page 11

Community Block Parties

Volunteer reading to kids

Throughout the year on the first Saturdays of the month, the Church of the Highland Dream Center brings their mobile kid's truck and volunteers to the Drake and Moton communities to host a block party. The party is filled with music, games, food and other fun activities that benefit the entire family. 

Dream Center's mission is to reach people with the love of Christ by meeting both physical and spiritual needs. >

kids outside playing Block Party food and pizza outside

Auburn Forward Fall 2019 (National Night Out) Page 12


Auburn Police Dancing at National Night Out

Kid painting pumpkin at National Night Out

Employee and Family at National Night Out

Kid painting pumpkin at National Night Out

The Auburn Police Division (APD) and the Auburn Housing Authority hosted its annual National Night Out (NNO) event on Thursday, October 10th. The event was held at the Ridgecrest community. NNO was created in 1984 to help foster the relationship between community members and law enforcement. 

Members of the APD were engaged with residents to reinforce crime and drug prevention awareness, community relations and law enforcement visibility. Over twenty organizations were present to offer information about their resources. The event also included door prizes, food and entertainment.

Auburn University Volunteer with reptile on child

Staff with Sparky

Auburn Forward Fall 2019 (NNO Gallery) Page 13

NNO Gallery
More photos at

Girl with Batman face paint

Auburn Police Officer with resident puppy

Auburn Police Officers posing at national night out

Staff with Aubie




Auburn Forward Fall 2019 (Summer Food & Fun) Page 14


Kid at Summer Feeding

Many kids who rely on school meals struggle to get enough to eat during the summer months. Free summer meal programs - at schools and community centers - are the answer. -

During the month of June, the Alabama Food Bank provided sack lunches for our children at the Sparkman Community Center. During these Summer Feedings, there were two groups who provided activities for the children. Lakeview Baptist Church staff and volunteers provided the activities throughout Summer Feeding in exception for one week during their church's Vacation Bible School (VBS). They also provided transportation for the children to attend their VBS. They provided crafts and outdoor fun, including planting flowers, sidewalk art and various activities to get our youth up and moving. During the week Lakeview weren't able to provide the activities, we were blessed with volunteers from the Auburn University Band and one of our Summer Practicum Interns from the Auburn University Social Work Program (Kyra Smith), who also is a band member, provided buckets and sticks for the children. They taught the children to beat out the rhythm while the band members played their instruments. The kids loved it!

Every Tuesday and Thursday during the month of June, the  Esperanza House invites children at our Eastpark Community to join them for Vacation Bible School, lunch and fun activities at the Rec Center. Many organizations and churches provided sack lunches for the children. Crafts, physical activities and sing-alongs were provided for the children before lunch. 

Auburn Forward Fall 2019 (Resident Notice) Page 15


The Auburn Housing Authority's (AHA) mission is to provide safe, decent and affordable housing for families. The AHA's Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program is funded by the federal government and AHA must comply with the Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) regulations and AHA's internal policies and procedures. AHA encourages families to comply with the following requirements to maintain their housing assistance. 

a. Comply with your annual recertification requirements and submit the requested information by the deadline.

b. Report changes of your income and household composition as required. 

c. Comply with your landlord's dwelling lease. 

d. Comply with all written requests that are submitted by the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Department and forward the requested information by the deadline.

Not complying with the requirements above may result in the termination of your assistance or eviction. The list above is not all-inclusive. 

If you have questions about your HCV assistance, please contact the
HCV Department as follows:

Auburn Housing Authority
931 Booker Street
Auburn, AL 36832
(334) 821-2262

Auburn Forward Fall 2019 (Resident Info) Page 16


Rent Payment
Rent and service fees are due the 1st of each month, late after the 6th. If the last day to pay rent falls upon a day the Authority is closed
(weekend or holiday) then residents have the next business day to pay rent. The late fee is $40.00 per month. Please pay your rent on time to eliminate late fees and possible eviction!


Rental Insurance
Residents are encouraged to obtain rental insurance. Rental insurance helps to protect your belongings after a covered loss.


An emergency work order will be completed and mitigated within twenty-four (24) hours. If a situation is determined to not be an emergency, the resident will be informed that the request will be considered as "any other resident work order request". Normal
work orders will be resolved within 3 business days. Examples of a work order emergency are:

-Broken exterior door lock
-Loss of power - mechanical failure
-Broken water line
-Loose or falling ceiling
-No Heat (when the outside temperature is less than 35 degrees)

Please call to request a work order:

Routine Maintenance Work Orders:
(334)821-2262, Option 4 then Option 1

Emergency AFTER hours Work Orders:
(334)821-2262, Option 4 then Option 2

For Police and Fire Emergencies dial 911


Smoking Policy
Smoking is NOT permitted inside the unit. See the Smoke-Free Policy that's included as an addendum to your lease for more information.



Stay updated on events, programs and initiatives sponsored by The Auburn, LaFayette and Roanoke Housing Authorities by liking, following, and engaging with us on social media. We're your key to Housing Opportunities!

sign up for "News and More" to receive email and text notifications.

Auburn Forward Fall 2019 - Page 17

Kids playing drums at summer feeding

Table of kids eating at summer feeding

long table of kids eating at summer feeding

Group of kids and volunteers drumming at summer feeding

cute girl drinking at summer feeding