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History of East Orange Housing Authority
The Housing Authority was established in 1957 by the City Council of the City of East Orange.
The Housing Authority of the City of East Orange owns and operates a total of 244 public housing units. Concord Towers a Low-Income Elderly building with 64 units was built in 1963 and Vista Village a Low Income Elderly building with 180 units was built in 1970 and an Administrative Office located at 160 Halsted Street.
The Housing Authority of the City of East Orange is located in the heart of the most densely populated area of the State of New Jersey.
Out of a total of 75,213 persons, 66,157 are Black, comprising an 87.96% ratio. Hispanics and other minorities make 4.99% with remaining 7% Whites. It should then be of no surprise to anyone that this community does not feel “minority”; it has welcomed presidents and other dignitaries from throughout the African continent to a series of African American cultural programs and activities.
Many of its residents have distinguished themselves in sports, arts and sciences.
The Housing Authority of the City of East Orange counts a number of very low income residents among the housing projects it administers. Poverty without dignity and ambition attracts criminal behavior and the poor are almost constantly threatened with the maladies. One of the EOHA projects became the site of criminal activity (mainly drug peddlers) and the community became scared; did not know what to do. They had no idea of how fortunate they had been, for PHA Director Harry B. Jackson was both a veteran and veteran of housing and housing services, during whose tenure HUD awarded the PHA with a “Greatest Improved Performance” Award which was presented in December of 1994 during ceremonies held in Washington, D.C.
The EOHA secured through the DEP funding the special services of the experienced and dedicated Sergeant Frank Cocchi of the East Orange Police Department, a 1994 recipient of the “Community Policing” Award and “Top Cop” Award from the citizens of the City of East Orange.
Now it was up to the residents and the tenant organizations.
First, it was necessary to encourage tenants to attend meetings so as to discuss their plight and work together towards the successful achievement of their goals – to get rid of the drug dealers among them. The Board of Commissioners scheduled meetings at the sites and encouraged al to attend and participate actively in the submission of ideas, suggestion and recommendations to improve their quality of life at the developments.