Sunday, June 24, 2018
News Roundup

Gov. Rick Scott appoints three members to Pasco County Housing Authority

The Pasco Housing Authority, which has gone through multiple directors in recent years, gained two new members recently.

Gov. Rick Scott appointed David Longspaugh, 50, of Hudson, and retiree Silna Nubia, 68, a tenant and resident at Bonnie Dale Villas, to the board. Scott also reappointed David Lambert, 42, of Spring Hill and an executive at Withlacoochee River Electric Cooperative, as chairman.

Longspaugh is the broker owner of ReMax Sunset Realty, Sunset Title Services, and Sunset Rentals and Property Management. He fills a vacant seat and is appointed for a term that ends Aug. 31, 2017. Nubia fills a vacant seat and is appointed for a term that ends Sept. 25, 2016. Lambert's term ends Sept. 13, 2017.

The new board will choose a replacement for Dianne Morris, who left suddenly in March after being hired in 2012. She was the second housing chief to quit in less than three years.

Neither she nor officials would not comment on her reasons for leaving. The agency oversees about $15 million to provide housing for lower-income residents.

Housing program director Linda Wright has been serving as interim executive director.

The board hired Morris in 2012 after then-executive director Karen Turner quit amid a lawsuit in August 2011 that accused her of mismanagement and having sex with an employee at the agency's Dade City offices. Turner had been there 11 years.

A judge cleared the authority, but it faced criticism again when the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development launched an investigation into the authority's finances and management structure.

HUD's report in February 2012 cited issues with financial oversight, possible overtime excesses and high vacancy at units under the authority's management.

Morris, who earned $87,000, was thought to have turned around the troubled agency. She had previously worked for 10 years as manager of Pasco's Community Development office.

The authority is in the midst of several rehab projects. It recently launched a two-phase renovation of the Hudson Hills apartment complex and this fall is expected to start an overhaul of the Dade Oaks apartments, its largest housing complex.

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