By Shawn Kirkpatrick
It has never been done before in Opelika, or in our state. Opelika Housing Authority Chair Henrietta Snipes is the first person in the history of the organization to hold three appointments, plus chair of the Opelika Housing Authority, simultaneously, that according to President of the Alabama Association of Housing and Redevelopments Authorities (AAHRA) Danny Walker.
Snipes has been elected to serve as Vice President of Commissioners for the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment (NAHRO), Vice President of Commissioners for the Southeast Regional Conference of the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment (SERC), and appointed Chair of the Alabama Association of Housing and Redevelopment Authorities this year.
“Holding all three has made it easier for me. NORHA is the mother of the group. So everything from NOHRA filters down through the region and the state. I am at an advantage because I am right there at the beginning of the planning,” Snipes said. “I am ahead of the game by being the VP of NOHRA. Now I am better equipped to take it (information) back to my region.”
Snipes, has been on the Opelika Housing Authority board for 21 years, serving the last 13 as chair. She is already focusing on her goals for the state and local housing authorities.
“I really want to push professional development in the state a lot more. In Alabama we are a little slow in training our commissioners and that’s been a problem for me. I want to push certifications that commissioners don’t take advantage of.”
For people living in government housing in Opelika, Snipes said there is hope.
“We are about encouraging people, to let us help them and tell them about all the programs that are out there. Let us help you, then move on and get out (of housing).”