Have you ever wondered about something and then wondered about that something with someone else, and then pretty soon, everybody seems to be wondering about the same thing but nobody ever wonders hard enough to find out the answer?
Have you ever wondered why I wonder about things like that?
Well, wonder no longer. The Advocate Answer Man is on duty, and I’m here to answer those nagging questions all of us Lake Highlanders have been asking all these years about the public housing complex in the heart of our neighborhood at 10025 Shoreview, known as Audelia Manor.
Although I’ve been driving past that complex for four years, I haven’t known anything about it, except that it’s a public housing complex.
With all of the debate over the past couple of years regarding the federal court’s cram-down of public housing in Dallas County, I have to admit that I’ve been waiting for some catastrophe to occur relating to that complex.
Then I learned that it is a public housing complex intended for elderly in need of assistance. Somehow, street gangs of gray- and blue-haired hoodlums hanging out on the corner in their wheelchairs and with their walkers do not strike the same chord of fear and apprehension.
Still, I was curious about the complex and its residents. Occasionally, I would see a resident walking down the street or standing in front of the building. Unlike the other apartment complexes, there didn’t seem to be a problem with topless sunbathing.
So in fine journalistic fashion, I began my inquiry into Audelia Manor. As with so many experiences with government bureaucracies, my inquiry started with a cold call to the main number for the Dallas Housing Authority, after which I was bounced around from extension to extension by a couple of secretaries.
Mixed into all of that were the perfunctory “let it ring 20 times, but the receptionist still doesn’t answer,” the “hold for a moment, only to be disconnected” move, and the “he/she is not in right now” dodge.
Finally, somebody suggested I simply call Audelia Manor directly, so I did. The manager, Ms. Williams, seemed rather reluctant about talking with me.
“I’ve only been here a short while,” she explained in response to my questions about the complex.
“Oh, like less than a year?” I asked.
“Oh, no,” she replied, which only confused me more. “You’ll have to call my area director, Bill Tate,” she explained as she hung up.
So I did. Mr. Tate was nice, but he didn’t seem to be able to tell me much of anything about the complex. After asking me to hold for several minutes, he came back on the phone and told me I would need to call his vice president, Theodore Jefferson.
I concluded that this must be what Mike Wallace feels like when he’s jamming TV cameras in the door of an executive-in-escape.
My message to Mr. Jefferson was finally returned by Lori Moon, who happens to be president and CEO of the Dallas Housing Authority.
Good grief! Did it take the president to answer my questions about Audelia Manor? It seemed like overkill, but she delivered the requested information promptly and courteously.
So, here’s the scoop.
The complex was built in 1984. It has 122 one-bedroom units and one two-bedroom unit. It is a three-story complex with an elevator.
It has a total of 125 residents: 56 white, 58 black and 11 Hispanic; 41 male and 84 female.
Although the complex is intended for the elderly, one resident is 22-30 years old, 21 residents are 31-50 years old, 48 residents are 51-70 years old, 53 residents are 71-90 years old, and two residents are 91 years old or older.
That’s all for now. Next month, we’ll continue our look at Audelia Manor and see whether the monthly bingo profits could actually pay the rent.