MANSFIELD - With working generators in all but two of its public units, the Tioga-Bradford County Housing Authority said Monday it is "as ready as it can be" for any power outages caused by Hurricane Sandy, barreling toward the region Monday.
"We worked hard all morning making sure we are covered," Executive Director Kelley Cevette said.
She said the agency received a phone call from the department of Housing and Urban Development, and it is "concerned about the entire state, so we are making sure all our tenants are taken care of and know what to do in case power goes out."
Cevette said there are generators in all buildings except its newest units, Liberty Cottages in Liberty, where the water source is well water, and Colonial Terrace in Towanda.
"We met with the residents of Liberty Cottages this morning and we advised them if they lose power to go to a friend or family member. Or if they can't do that, to contact us," she added.
Colonial Terrace in Towanda also has no generator, she said "but Colonial Towers is close and they do have one."
"There is only so much we can do as landlords, and we are doing everything we can do," said Deputy Director Dan Styborski.
In other business, the authority heard that its Section 8 rental assistance program was down in usage, but up in spending, according to Cevette.
There are currently 174 units out of 213 leased, with 11 new vouchers issued.
"We are issuing more permits trying to get additional people to participate but finding units with rents that qualify is a difficult task," she said.
Cevette added that the waiting list went down last month from over 600 to 512.
"It's not a big difference, and some are no longer in the area," she said.
The authority also heard that Cevette submitted a grant application to the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency for $275,000 for each county's rehab program. If funded, the program will help a minimum of 14 households using rental assistance with modifications to their apartments if everyone used the maximum available of $18,000.
The authority will be notified by December if it is getting the funds, and then the funds will be received after the first of the year, Cevette said.
"You have to be renting to someone who meets the income criteria at this time. We put a fee of $50 on the application process to get only serious inquiries. A seven-year period is required to rent to someone in that income category. Our goal is to try to help as many households as possible," she said.
In other business the authority:
Approved paying more than $85,000 in payments in lieu of taxes to county municipalities.
Heard there are only two vacancies in Bradford County, because the apartments are being readied for the next tenants.