Use of RHA staff and property gives rise to controversy

StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//Auto-img-111643645411065.jpg’, ‘Photo by Jeff Havens’, ‘RHA Executive Director Lewis Jordan donated furniture from his home to the Rockford Housing Authority, some of which is in storage in this building at Blackhawk Court project on 15th Avenue.’);
StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//Auto-img-111643648912020.jpg’, ‘Photo by Jeff Havens’, ”);
StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//Auto-img-111643651914779.jpg’, ‘Photo by Jeff Havens’, ”);

Whether Lewis Jordan, executive director of the Rockford Housing Authority (RHA), was donating furniture to the poor or using RHA resources to rid his home of unwanted furniture is the center of a controversy that Jordan said dates back to last November.

The controversy involves questions about Jordan’s intentions when an RHA truck, trailer and three RHA employees were used to move furniture from his home to RHA property.

Jordan said his intention was to donate furniture from his home to public housing residents, rather than giving his furniture to non-profit organizations for resale.

However, Jordan denied sources’ characterization that he inappropriately used RHA resources to move unwanted furniture from his house to Blackhawk Court housing project. Jordan also denied sources’ assertion that some of the items removed from Jordan’s home were placed in RHA trash containers.

Jordan said staff moved six couches, one bedroom set, one desk, two chairs and one entertainment center. He defended the practice of using staff to move furniture from his home by saying he occasionally receives donated furniture, which he then distributes to needy families.

Of the items Jordan said were moved late last year, only one couch, entertainment center and love seat were left in the storage room at Blackhawk Court project.

Sherri Tracy, director of Housing Operations at RHA, would not comment on whether she ordered the RHA workers to remove the furniture from Jordan’s home. When contacted April 22, Tracy referred all inquires to Jordan.

During an impromptu interview May 7, Jordan demanded to know if interviews were conducted with any of the three RHA employees who removed the furniture from Jordan’s home.

The Rock River Times declined to answer Jordan’s inquiry.

From the May 18-24, 2005, issue

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