Lorlie Richardson was just trying to do a good deed. A resident services manager for the city of Madison's Housing Authority, she saw a recent ad in Isthmus offering city assistance to people who dream of owning their own home.
And so Richardson photocopied the ad and sent it to about 200 families in Madison public housing: "I was trying to plant the seed that there is hope for home ownership."
This drew an angry call from Terri Goldbin, a housing rehab specialist with the city's Community and Economic Development unit, which placed the ad. "I got chewed out," Richardson relates. "She said people in public housing don't qualify for this program. Their income is too low, and it takes too much hand-holding to get them through the process."
Richardson feels this is misinformed: Not everyone in public housing is low-income. And besides, the ad made no mention of income.
Goldbin insists she never pegged people in public housing as bad candidates: "That's baloney." She says her entire issue was Richardson's "not having the courtesy to call" about sending out the ad. She began getting calls from people who had gotten the mailing, and didn't know what they were talking about.
Other than that, she has "no problem" with the ad going out: "I am very much for promoting home ownership."
For more information on city assistance to potential homebuyers, call 266-4223, ext. 302.