Editor's Note: The following is a statement by Barry Cassidy in reaction to the story, "Coppedge blasts Cassidy," in the Wednesday, August 27, edition of The Phoenix.

I believe that a community is judged by the way they treat their poor, infirm and underprivileged population. The discourse on our difference of opinion is the difference in what is perceived to be the community standard for housing between the Borough Codes Department and the Chester County Housing Authority... Rules apply to public agencies just as they do to private landlords... everyone should be treated the same. I feel passionately about housing and I acted according to my passion.

I personally believe that people are innocent until proven guilty and that they are entitled to clean, safe and well functioning housing. People on welfare or down on your luck deserve to be treated in a respectable manner, regardless of their circumstances.

My experiences working on low income housing in East Baltimore's Patterson Park section and Philadelphia's Kensington section has given me a unique perspective concerning interactions with large agencies which provide voucher and project based Section 8 housing. Some agencies are more responsive than others, you have to take it on a case by case basis because each one responds differently.

Barry Cassidy

Executive Director,

Community Development Corp.

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