* families are getting smaller.
* most of the larger apartments are located on Burckley Drive, which sits across from Heather Hills, where police make frequent visits.
* people who could rent the apartments don't know they're eligible or think there is a stigma attached to living in public housing.
Public housing in Danville is not the projects. It is safe, affordable housing for those with low incomes. This is White's mantra.
Still, the stigma persists.
Social reformers in the early 1900s pushed for government-built housing as relief for the cramped, disease-ridden urban slums that sheltered European immigrants.
Dubbed the projects
By the 1970s, public housing had been dubbed the projects and was synonymous with crime and impoverished living conditions.
This legacy haunts public housing in Danville.
"We are trying to take that stigma away. We don't have projects. We provide safe, affordable housing for low-income families," says Susan Smock, who manages the McIntyre apartments a few blocks west of Maple Avenue.
Some think public housing is for the unemployed or those on welfare.
Before the 1960s, the government established certain rents. When families could afford to pay more, they were evicted. One of White's favorite anecdotes is that Elvis Presley's family was kicked out of public housing in Memphis when his father got a job.
Reforms did away with those rules and made room for working, low-income families.
A single parent with two children, who has a full-time job earning $17.69 an hour, may be eligible. A single person, who earns $13.77 an hour at a full-time job also may be eligible.
Most rent is based on 30 percent of the household's income. Some expenses, such as child care and health care, may be deducted. A family also may choose a flat-rent option that keeps rent the same for three years. The least expensive rent is $240 for a studio apartment, and the most expensive is $450 for a five-bedroom apartment. Rent includes utilities.
Working people sometimes think they should live in a privately-owned apartment complex, even if they are struggling with $500-a-month rent, Smock said.
"There is a public perception that people with jobs shouldn't be in public housing," White said.
Trying to be stepping stone to independence
The Housing Authority attempts to posture itself as a stepping stone to independence. A monthly newsletter encourages residents to learn personal finance skills and how to become homeowners. The Housing Authority offers workshops on debt management and job skills, although White admits attendance is poor.
"We feel like there are families out there that are struggling to make ends meet but don't use the services we provide," White said.
The manager of Bate-Wood, Jolynda Bailey, lives in one of the apartments and said she wouldn't live anywhere else.
Neither would Billie Scott, who has spent the last eight years there. She has heard stories about other complexes where the owners let "just anyone" rent apartments. "They have drunks, dope addicts," she said.
Background checks are done
Living in public housing is not a right. Applicants must pass background checks, and residents who commit violent crimes within a certain radius of the apartments are evicted. The rules are mandated by Congress and are meant to keep a safe environment for everyone who lives in public housing, White said.
Scott likes these rules.
"It's safe here for kids," she said. "They cleared all the dope addicts out ... they won't let them live here. ... Everyone's nice here."