Local Business Spotlight: Eufaula Housing Authority

Roughly 10 percent of Eufaulians call a Eufaula Housing Authority property home.

Tom Wachs and staff work diligently every day to ensure the comfort, safety and needs of the residents and neighbors are always met.

The Eufaula Housing Authority was established in 1952 through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. With HUD funding, and rent paid by tenants, EHS maintains four public units – Chattahoochee Courts, Western Heights, Forrest Hills and Fairlane Meadows – and Creek Ridge.

“I enjoy my job, because we provide a valuable service,” said Wachs. “We house 850+ families. Our total population is about 10 percent of Eufaula. I take pride in my job and we have a great staff that I wouldn’t trade for the world. They enjoy what they do. They take pride in the way our properties look, the way they are maintained and providing a safe environment.”

In addition to providing housing to many citizens of Eufaula, Wachs and staff are committed to helping the residents of their facilities improve their quality of life.

EHS sponsors programs that help residents find jobs, build resumes and receive a GED through Wallace Community College.

Wachs is especially proud of the YouthBuild program. At YouthBuild programs in the United States and across the globe, low-income young people learn construction skills through building affordable housing for homeless and low-income people in their neighborhoods and other community assets such as schools, playgrounds, and community centers.

For unemployed young people who left high school without a diploma, YouthBuild is an opportunity to reclaim their educations, gain the skills they need for employment, and become leaders in their communities.

EHA’s YouthBuild concluded its initial phase in February and Wachs says the early results have been phenomenal.

“The YouthBuild program just finished step one of the very first class. It is truly heartwarming to see where these folks have come in three weeks,” said Wachs. “They have changed their lives for the better. It began with a mental toughness training and they really get deep on what has hindered them and kept them from reaching goals. They have really changed their lives in three weeks.”

A grant from the U.S. Department of Labor pays for the YouthBuild program, and tuition for the students at Wallace to learn a trade. The majority of the YouthBuild participants, upon completion of the program, will receive certification in welding.

For more information on how to apply for residence in a Eufaula Housing Authority facility, call (334) 687-2451 or visit www.eufaulahousing.com

Per Wachs, the application process for EHA residences isn’t much different than other rental agreements.

“We do background checks and they have to qualify in a number of areas,” said Wachs. “It is not too much different than applying for a regular apartment. We run a couple more checks than other places, but not that many.”