Diane Adams, Executive Director of the Lexington Housing Authority is retiring at the end of September after 34 years in the position. Adams says when she became Housing Director, there were only two city housing properties: Eastlawn & Eastlawn Addition for elderly and disabled persons.
Later, the Housing Choice Voucher program was introduced by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. It is the the federal government’s major program for assisting very low-income families, the elderly, and the disabled to afford decent, safe, and sanitary housing in the private market.
Adams says, “Before there were even rules written on how to run the program, I applied and got some funding to start that program here in Lexington.”
She says, “We started with 26 units where we could help private landlords by paying rent for individuals that met the income guidelines. So the individuals paid a portion of their rent to the landlord and we paid the balance. Through the years we’ve added to that program and now we have 122 vouchers where we can help people in Dawson County pay their rent.”
Adams says that ushered in NAF Senior Housing at Eastlawn East, a complex of 18 units for frail-elderly & disabled individuals, for those who meet income and age requirements.
Later the Housing Authority worked with the City of Lexington to purchase seven homes that included structures Lexington High School students built or other homes that hadn’t sold, to be used to house individuals with vouchers.
New Housing Authority programs include “Legend Oaks” & “Legend Oaks II, ” which are tax credit properties developed in a partnership between Mesner Development Company of Central City and the City of Lexington, which provides housing for 39 individuals, over age 55, income-limited.
Adams feels good about leaving the agency in the hands of the five-member Housing Authority Board of Commissioners and her successor….
“My replacement Derek Haines is in training now and Oct. 1 he’ll take over the reins. The goal is to maintain the property that we have, continue to serve the elderly and disabled and also to continue to grow the scattered site housing properties so that we can serve more needs for working families in the community.”
Asked what her hopes are for the agency as it enters its next phase without her, Adams had this answer…
Diane Adams and her husband Bob Adams will retire from the Housing Authority on Sept. 30. They plan to move to Kearney, where they have purchased a home. Adams says the couple have grandchildren living in the Kearney and Grand island areas that she and Bob would like to spend time with.
Adams has seen much change in Lexington and growth in the Housing Authority’s programs. But she says credit for the success of the agency needs to go to the people who have made it happen…
An Open House to recognize Diane Adams for her years of service as Executive Director of the Lexington Housing Authority will be held on Thursday, Sept. 7 from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. at the Wilma Buckley Hall.