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Housing Authority: Majority of renters pay on time; capital plan approved

Renters in Lycoming Housing Authority properties were diligent in paying their rents last month, which resulted in a 99% rate for on-time payments, according to MeriLyn Severson, the authority’s executive director.

“Kudos to our residents who, even during a pandemic, do the right thing and pay their rent on time,” Severson said.

Over the course of the year the authority has collected over $1,175,335 in rent and other charges. The year-to-date charge off amount is just over $14,414 and is 1.23% of the total receipts. A charge off is an account that is considered noncollectable.

“We’re having a good year with charge offs,” Severson said.

In other agenda items, Severson told the board the authority will apply for Mainstream Vouchers as part of one administrative goal highlighted in the 2022 five-year plan. The plan outlines goals as well as accomplishments.

“They are tenant-based, so they go with a tenant, they are not tied to a building. They function the same as a regular voucher, but they’re targeted for a specific population. In this instance the population is non-elderly disabled individuals, exiting either a nursing home or other institution,” Severson said upon introducing the plan to the board Thursday.

“We have partnered with the Center for Independent Living and we have identified the need in this county for five vouchers, at least initially,” Severson said.

A representative from the Center for Independent Living will be at the authority’s meeting next month to speak to this program, Severson noted.

The plan included goals achieved during the previous year and goals going forward.

Under goals that were attained, the agency reached a rate of vacancy of 1.7% for 2021, which Severson said was down from last year’s 1.4%.

Severson also reported that the family self-sufficiency program dispersed over $64,000 in escrow funds to five

families who achieved economic independence through the program.

The annual and five-year capital plan, which addresses the buildings, grounds and properties owned by the authority, was also presented.

“Each year we get together with our maintenance staff. We look at our physical needs assessment. We look at our cycle needs — how many toilets we need to replace, when are stoves are going to go — and we sit down and hammer out a plan,” Severson said.

Included in the plans for next year is the conversion of units in buildings to Americans with Disability Act accessibility units.

Severson told the board that the units to be converted include two at Robert Montgomery Homes, three at Peter Herdic and five at William Hepburn.

Both plans have been advertised and made available for public comment. The capital plan undergoes an environmental review and cannot move forward until that is completed and then they are sent to the office of Housing and Urban Development for final approval.

The authority’s board approved the plans.

The board discussed possibly amending the authority’s personnel policy to include adding incentives for longtime employees. They decided to seek more information before making a decision.

A bid of $63,500 from J.M. Young & Sons for a roof replacement at a property at 605 W. Fouth St. was approved by the board. This was the only bid for the project. Severson said the solicitor had reviewed and approved the bid documents and the justification.

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