MANSFIELD - The funding that the Tioga County Housing Authority receives from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for its capital projects has dropped in the past two years. If that is a trend for future funding, the authority may have to get "creative" in how it maintains its public housing units, said Executive Director Kelley Cevette.
For 2012, the authority will receive $483,904, about $70,000 less than in 2011.
"Over the last two years, HUD has reduced our funding by $140,000," Cevette told the authority board during its meeting Monday.
In its five-year plan, the authority plans to do several projects, starting in fiscal year 2012, which starts in July.
Projects on the list include:
Relining kitchen drains at Sherwood Manor in Mansfield and installing exterior lighting in Blossburg for a cost of $83,000;
Replacing gas ranges, heat lines, valves and pumps, and sewer line at Park Hill Manor, Wellsboro, and replacing refrigerators in 20 units at Pinnacle Towers in Wellsboro at a cost of $75,000; and
At its Westfield, Elkland, Nelson and Lawrenceville units, replacing hot water heaters, back doors, plumbing valves and smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, as well as putting on porch roofs at the Nelson elderly unit and replacing the parking lot and a retaining wall, at a cost of $292,500.
"I hope we're not on a schedule here because it is costly to do these items. I think we have a good handle but, down the road, we will have to be creative to figure out how we are going to do things," Cevette said.
HUD already is forcing the authority to use its reserve funds to supplement funding it receives for Section 8 rentals, she added.
"We spent $6,000 out of reserves this month alone," she said, noting the authority's reserve fund formerly stood at $79,000.
Section 8 funding will be replenished in September, Cevette said, and the amount received "will be based on our utilizations, which will be less because we can't afford to have 217 participants."
Right now, 195 out of 217 participants receive Section 8 rental assistance.
"We can't afford to have any more because we would be using it up (reserves) too quickly," she said.
With no vacancies at any of the public housing units in either Tioga or Bradford counties, Cevette said the waiting lists for rental assistance are growing.
According to figures presented by Cevette at the meeting, there are 398 applicants, with 241 of them county residents and 157 of them non-residents.
Residents are given priority, she added.
In other business, the authority:
Heard from Cevette that construction at the Liberty Cottages is scheduled to be done the first week of June.
Met Jason Sawyer, the authority's new capital grants manager, who replaces Kevin Patt.