Public housing residents told to tear up their gardens


Beauty and practicality don't matter to the South Pittsburg Housing Authority, which recently informed all residents that gardens have to go.

Residents of public housing units in South Pittsburg, TN are angry. The executive director of the South Pittsburg Housing Authority, Lisa Bradford, recently announced that residents can no longer have gardens in their yards, despite the fact that the residents pay for plants themselves and some have tended their beautiful gardens for many years.

Last week the new Resolution 937 took effect:

The South Pittsburg Housing Authority, beginning on June 1, 2016 will impose a new Landscaping Policy for all residents of the South Pittsburg Housing Authority. The new landscaping policy states that ALL landscaping, including gardening, is to be removed from the housing authority property, unless it is planted by the South Pittsburg Housing Authority staff. This landscaping includes all plants, trees, flowers, shrubbery, and/or gardening that is located in the yards or any/all unites. All tenants will be allowed to have potted plants, including vegetables, so long as they are potted and located on the front or back porch of the units.” (via screen capture)

Bradford claims that the resolution is not new, but that the previous administration had failed to enforce the policy. The Times Free Press quotes Bradford’s written statement, which unsurprisingly uses ‘safety’ as its questionable justification for pushing through such a backward policy:

“This new landscaping policy is needed to ensure the safety of the maintenance employees, residents and guests of the housing authority. Each resident that violated the landscaping policy by placing unauthorized alteration on the residential property created greater obstacles and safety issues for maintenance employees. The presence of additional obstacles created an environment where the maintenance employee has to spend more time performing landscaping maintenance rather than other maintenance on the properties.”

It is unclear how creating gardens that take up part of the yard space, thereby lessening the total amount of square footage that an employee has to maintain, would create more work for the employee, and jeopardize the health of residents.

Read more here.