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Despite long wait list, county’s housing authority saw improvement in 2019

The Lycoming Housing Authority finished 2019 strong with many opening rental properties being filled by the end of that month, according to year-end reports reviewed by the board of directors Thursday.

“The (waiting) list is still long, over 1,200 folks on the list to start the year, so obviously there’s still a significant need in our community,” said Kenneth Young, board member.

In all, 89 units became vacant throughout the year with 1,023 successful applications. Of that number, 30 percent of applicants responded to follow-up correspondence by the authority, which was up from 2018 by 5 percent.

December 2019 marked the first full year of ADA accessible housing, said Jackie Schuler, resident services coordinator.

“Our 60 ADA residents have been enjoying the handicap units and have given positive feedback,” she said.

Crime across all public housing stayed below one percent for 2019, she added.

“That’s basically due to just knowing our residents and being present on site,” said Schuler.

Once a unit becomes available, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development mandates that they be inspected.

In 2019, 226 units were inspected and The Lycoming Housing Authority received a high performer score of 93 on their Real Estate Assessment Center inspection, which evaluates the function and facilities of the properties.

Schuler said it was a proud moment for her team.

“There are so many aspects that go into making our units, our buildings and our community safe, clean and affordable for our residents, and during 2019 we worked together to improve our process which made us grow, learn and be more efficient as a team,” she said.

Additionally, the property at 510 Lose Parkway was sold to a resident, who worked through the housing authority’s self sufficiency programs to budget, plan her career and build her credit to finally become a homeowner.

“We all worked really hard together and it helps to make this a great place to work as well as feel fulfilled for what we do for our residents,” said Schuler.

All members were present.

The next Lycoming Housing Authority meeting is scheduled for 8:30 a.m., Feb. 27 in the Penn Vale Conference Room, 1941 Lincoln Dr.

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