Housing authority to offer cleaning classes

By William Thompson: Quay County Sun

Robert Pacheco, Tucumcari’s Housing Authority Director, said public housing residents will soon be required to attend four hours of housekeeping training if their housing units are found to be in violation of cleanliness standards after a second inspection.

The Housing Authority Board approved Pacheco’s plan in a meeting Thursday evening.

The current policy is to move to evict a resident after a second failed inspection of his or her housing unit, Pacheco said.

Pacheco hopes required housekeeping training after a second failed inspection will help untidy residents keep their housing units.

“We want to be more customer friendly,” Pacheco said. “We want to give everybody ample opportunity to improve their cleaning habits.”

After an initial failed inspection, a letter will be sent to the resident stating the resident’s housing unit will be reinspected within 30 days, Pacheco said .

Pacheco said the letter will state, “If you fail the next inspection you will be required to enroll in housekeeping training. You will be required to pay a $25 fee and you will be placed on probation,”

Probation will consist of periodic inspections over a 90-day period by housing authority inspector Gina Calbert.

“I’ve been in housing units where food was all over the place,” Calbert said. “I’ve seen mold growing on dishes in sinks and I’ve seen garbage all over the floors with small children inside the housing unit.”

Public housing resident Troyce Howsman, who said he keeps his housing unit clean, has reservations about the required housekeeping training.

“I can’t imagine someone not knowing how to clean,” Howsman said. “It seems to me if they are not cleaning their apartment they probably need help from someone else to clean because they are mentally or physically disabled. I would think they need someone’s help rather than training.”

Pacheco said he has seen evidence over the years of generations of families who have poor cleaning skills. He said the new policy should be in effect by May 1.