FERRIS The city of Ferris has named Roma D. Lewis to head up the Housing Authority, replacing James Whitaker, who served as the director for the past 10 years.

A Dallas native, Lewis served in the Housing Authority industry for 27 years and was executive director of the Housing Authority of Garland for the past 20 years.

A graduate of South Garland High School and receiving her degree from University of Texas, Dallas, Lewis resides in Mesquite.

In addition to her duties with the city of Ferris, Lewis serves as a housing authority consultant in other cities and is also a consultant for other nonprofit entities.

Shes impressed with what she has seen and experienced in Ferris so far.

I like the fact that Ferris is a family-oriented city theres lots of potential here, she said. Ive already had a meet and greet with my clientele and one of the first things I want to do is to conduct a survey with my clientele and see what they would like to see happen.

Her duties include overseeing public housing, which includes 18 one-bedroom units, 12 two-bedroom units and six three-bedroom units.

One of the first things Id like to see happen is to build a playground on the premises, she said. Its important to provide a place for activities and a place for children to keep them off the streets and out of trouble.

Another goal concerns the repairs and renovation of the housing, which is more than 30 years old. Lewis notes that with age comes structural, plumbing, electrical and other issues that compromise safety.

She also has plans to make job training available to clientele who are looking for work or have just lost their job.

I want to do everything I possibly can to make sure we provide decent, safe, affordable housing for our clientele, Lewis said.

Asked what she does in her down time, Lewis says she loves spending time with Sparky, her 7-year-old Maltese dog.

I also love to read and exercise, she said, adding that exercise is basically for relaxation. I also love to be involved in my church the New Mount Zion Baptist Church in north Dallas.

Lewis also loves to interact with people and said that she wants to be remembered as one who truly cared for other people.

For information about the Housing Authority of the city of Ferris, contact Lewis office at 972-842-2047.

Contact Paul at paul.gauntt@wninews.com or 469-517-1450.