RCEB members in the office of Alabama Economic Development Director Bea Forniss.  Pictured are (left to right) Mrs. Forniss (standing), (sitting) Shawn Ware-Battle (Fieldcrest), Betty White (Ridgewood), Tina Reeves (Hillwood).

A Brief History of the Organization

The Tuskegee Housing Authority Resident Council Executive Board was established in 1994.  It was developed following an organizing effort by Americorps Volunteer Eloise Temple-Piner in the early 1990's.  She recruited public housing residents from the seven (7) communities in Tuskegee  to form a steering committee.  She coordinated training for them and assisted them in mobilizing their neighborhoods.  Included in this was a youth choir called, the "Interdenominational Tuskegee Community Choir".  This later became the Tuskegee Housing Authority Community Choir and now the T.H.A. / Safe Haven Community Choir.

In 1994, Tuskegee Housing Authority accountant, Rev. Dr. Henry L. Moss, began working with the steering committee to formally organize and apply for grant funding.  Through his efforts the group began to organize each community.  They had moved from having names associated to the bordering streets, to having their own community names.  These included:  Elmwood (Gautier Street), Fieldcrest (Brown Street), Hightower (Water Street), Hillwood (Clemmie Street), Lakeview (Williams Street), Maple Gardens (School Street), and Ridgewood (Howard Road).  Each formed their own Resident Council and the steering committee organized itself into a city-wide resident council, with the name, "Tuskegee Housing Authority Resident Council Executive Board" or RCEB for short.

The RCEB incorporated with the State of Alabama and received non-profit status.  They then applied for and received the largest grant, at the time, ever awarded to a resident group by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.  The award was $100,000 for three years, under the Tenant Opportunities and Technical Assistance Grant. program (TOP/TAG).  The members were trained in HUD financial techniques through, then Tuskegee Housing Authority Assistant Executive Director and Financial Department Head, Linda M. Simpson.  The members opened a bank account with funds raised by the Fieldcrest Resident Council with a Gospel Sing and Fish Fry.  The RCEB managed their own financial affairs and staffed the Tuskegee TOP/TAG program.

The Housing Authority gave the organization an office space in a vacant unit in the Fieldcrest community and from those beginnings the RCEB and their program of activities have grown to become an empowering force in the public housing communities of Macon County, Alabama.

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