Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Report: Ferndale Housing Commission's problems continue

Posted By on Tue, Dec 23, 2014 at 11:57 AM

The Ferndale Housing Commission's former director, Debra Wilson, recently resigned after the 52-year-old was arrested for allegedly breaking into apartments and stealing prescription drugs, but that's only the beginning of the commission's problems, according to a report from Oakland County One-Fifteen, an online news site. 

While Wilson's court battle plays out, Proxmire takes a deep look at the Housing Commission's background and finds "an atmosphere that allows problems to go unchecked and intentionally silences any complaints or questions." 

It is not just dollars and drugs that are at stake, but the safety, health and day to day living conditions of dozens of elderly, low income and disabled residents. These residents rely on the Commission to set the budget, oversee the administration, and protect their interests. Yet they are silenced by rules that punish those who speak up.

In addition to documented policies that expressly curb resident feedback, open Meetings Act violations public and resident involvement. Ignoring requests for public information makes outside accountability nearly impossible.

In the time since Wilson’s arrest the Commission’s website, www.ferndalehousing.com, went from a functioning source of information, to a scrubbed-clean landing page, to being disabled completely.

In spite of serious felony charges against a long-standing Director, the Commission has given no signs of further investigation into the administration, giving Wilson’s second in command, Emily Vickey, a scrutiny-free step into the top spot. The Commission also allowed Wilson to resign instead of firing her.

Recently, Proxmire notes, the commission raised a "huge red flag" when it passed a budget that was added "at the last minute with no time for review or reflection by Commission members themselves." 

Proxmire's deep-dive is an extremely-detailed, helpful explainer into an agency that, due to its legal separation and distinction from the Ferndale City Council, keeps it generally off the radar. Check out the entire piece here

Tags: ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at letters@metrotimes.com.

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

April 14, 2021

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit

© 2021 Detroit Metro Times - Contact Us

Website powered by Foundation