Snipes nears anniversary at head of SRHA

Published 10:20 pm Tuesday, June 13, 2017

After nearly a year at the helm of the Suffolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority, Tracey Snipes said it has been a good year.

“I think part of it has been the support from the staff,” Snipes said of what made the year a successful one. “They have made the transition almost seamless.”

Snipes took over as the interim director last July, when longtime executive director Clarissa McAdoo retired. She was named to the permanent position during a board meeting in October.

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For most, it wasn’t much of a transition at all. Snipes has worked at the agency for 19 years, starting in human resources and eventually moving into a position that combined human resources and finance.


She had worked hand-in-hand with McAdoo for many years on the daily operation of the housing authority, so Snipes already had a good handle on the authority. She also credited her predecessor with helping the transition along.
“Clarissa left us in really good shape,” she said.

The agency has five housing communities — Chorey Park Apartments, Colander Bishop Meadows, Cypress Manor, Parker Riddick Village and Hoffler Apartments. About 466 families live in an SRHA community, Snipes said.

At a time of uncertainty for public housing, with federal funding a political target in Washington, Snipes remained confident that most residents will see few if any changes. Funding cuts are only proposed at this point, she noted, and affect mostly capital funds and Community Development Block Grants, which are more under the purview of the city than the authority itself.

Snipes is a native of South Carolina, where she met her U.S. Navy husband. He was transferred to California and then eventually to the Hampton Roads area and is now retired.

She has always specialized in human resources. Prior to starting work for SRHA, she worked in human resources for Lowe’s for seven years. She got her start in it in 1989 at a company in California, where she worked her way up from receptionist.

Snipes, now 51, said she started college a couple of different times but realized it wasn’t for her. But that doesn’t mean she hasn’t put in some hard work over the years, despite taking some criticism for accepting the top SRHA post without a degree.

“I’ve just been an extremely hard worker,” she said. “I knew because I didn’t have that degree, I had to work 10 times harder than those who did. I don’t really apologize for not having it, because I’ve put in the work.”

Snipes said she has received a good reception from the community and is looking forward to moving the agency forward.

“I’m looking forward to making a difference within the lives of the people who live in our communities and the people in our Section 8 program,” she said. “I’m excited about the things coming up for SRHA.”