Dry Ridge Housing Authority turns 25

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By Jamie Baker-Nantz

Jolene and Herman Ferguson have only lived in the Dry Ridge Housing Authority for six months, but they like their new home so well, they planted mums throughout the complex.

The brilliant purple, white, yellow and fiery orange plants grace the homes of many of the residents, including Zeffa Robinson, who has lived in the housing complex since it opened 25 years ago on Oct. 23, 1983.

Robinson is 95 years old.

“I was the first one to move in,” she said proudly. “I don’t have a secret to long life, I just do as I please and don’t say much to no one, but sometimes you do have to talk back.”

For Robinson, many of her neighbors have become like family.

“They’re good people and other than the faces changing, I guess not much else really has,” she said.

The Dry Ridge Housing Authority was built to provide housing to families and individuals who meet low-income guidelines that are established by the federal government.

It contains 66 units and provides housing for senior citizens and families.

Barb Owen has served as director since 1984. She, also, lives there.

When she’s not busy managing the day to day operations of the housing complex, she can be found in one of two offices that are filled to overflowing with University of Kentucky Wildcat memorabilia, most of which was given to her by friends, family and residents.

Owen said her goal is to give the residents of the Dry Ridge Housing Authority a clean, decent place to call home.

“We thought we’d add a little color to the place, since we were having an anniversary, and we want it to look nice for the residents,” Owen said.

“Most of the senior citizens who come to live here don’t move unless they have to go to a nursing home or end up at the funeral home,” she added.

For the Ferguson’s, sprucing up allowed them to do something they enjoy.

“Herman can’t be still,” said Jolene. “He has to be busy and he loves doing this kind of stuff.”

Also working to keep the housing authority up and running is Larry Cooper, maintenance director, who has worked at the complex since before it officially opened.

In honor of the 25th anniversary, Owen organized a dinner for the residents.