Residents living at Lincoln Apartments will benefit from a recent decision by the Goldsboro Housing Authority to add surveillance cameras throughout the public housing complex.
The authority board approved spending $100,000 on cameras, expected to be similar to the city of Goldsboro's Tsunami video-surveillance cameras, which offer four cameras on each unit and capture images at 360-degree angles, said Anthony Goodson, GHA chief executive officer.
The authority plans to add cameras to six utility poles owned by the housing authority at Lincoln Apartments and the cameras will allow surveillance of the entire public housing area, said Michele Wiggins, GHA director of grant management.
"There's an increased need for security," Wiggins said. "There will be cameras throughout the development."
The cameras will be accessible by housing authority staff and the Goldsboro Police Department, with live and recorded footage available. The cameras will be paid for out of the Lincoln Apartments budget, Wiggins said.
Goodson said cameras may also be added to other public housing areas in the future.
"We hope to continue that plan around the housing authority and stop some of the crime," he said. "We want to see how it works first. I'm thinking (West Haven Apartments) may be next for cameras."
Goodson said the housing authority may add cameras similar to the city's Tsunami units but declined to offer details about the cameras, including when and where they would be installed.
In the spring of 2017, the city of Goldsboro added five surveillance cameras to crime-ridden areas of the city. The five cameras, which are being leased, cost the city $28,000 in total each year, as part of a three-year lease agreement.
In other business, Goodson told the GHA board he plans to explore the possibility of adding a preschool or learning center at Fairview Apartments.
"One of the items that we look to explore over the next 12 months is, possibly, putting in some type of preschool or learning center over at Fairview," Goodson said. "I call it a preschool or learning center because I don't know anything about a preschool and, I think, a learning center (might) be easier to operate or for us to establish.
"So, that's one of the things we're going to look over the next 12 months. We'll bring in a consultant and talk with our community partners and see how it would work best."
The housing authority in Goldsboro offers 1,225 public housing units at six locations to about 2,700 people. Citywide, there are more than 1,000 youth, under the age of 18, including 459 children under the age of 5, living in public housing, Goodson said.
Transportation will be considered for the school or learning center, with children being picked up at home and being able to stay at the center throughout the day. Education, activities as well as breakfast and lunch would be served, he said.
"One of the things that I do know we lack is preschool, day cares in this community, and so that will, hopefully, be a bridge or something that will at least stabilize some of our children that are here," Goodson said.
The GHA board also approved spending $32,000 on staff training, $10,000 to employ 10 youth through the city of Goldsboro's summer youth job program and a tuition assistance program for employees. Employees can receive tuition assistance of up to $2,500 per year and up to $12,000 during a four-year period.
The board also approved spending $30,000 to provide Wayne Action Group for Economic Solvency, WAGES, with money to purchase instructional and other items for its day care located at the housing authority's property at the Walnut Street School Apartments.
Plans to demolish 48 public housing units at Fairview Apartments and 58 units at Lincoln Apartments are underway, with the demolitions expected within the next 60 days, Goodson said during a recent community forum.
The demolitions are taking place on the aging units, which were built in 1951, and also due to Goodson's interest to "deconcentrate poverty" in the city of Goldsboro, he said.