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Housing board ups flat-rate rents 23 to 35 percent

Rent is going up for residents in the Elizabethton Housing and Development Agency’s communities.
The EHDA Board of Directors approved new flat-rate rents based on the Department of Housing and Urban Development 2014 HUD Appropriations Act. The fair market value set by HUD determines what the flat rent rates will be.
Rates for one-bedroom through five-bedroom apartments increased by 35 percent, while rates for a studio apartment increased by 23.5 percent.
The new rates that will become effective on June 1 will be $346 for a studio, $405 for a one-bedroom, $479 for a two-bedroom, $560 for a three-bedroom, $641 for a four-bedroom and $709 for a five-bedroom. The old rates are $280 for a studio, $300 for a one-bedroom, $355 for a two-bedroom, $415 for a three-bedroom, $475 for a four-bedroom and $525 for a five-bedroom.
EHDA Director Kelly Geagley said the rent increase applies to current residents only.
The board will be considering a different resolution for new applicants during the May meeting.
“The new HUD appropriations told the agencies what the rates had to be,” Geagley said. “They told us what we needed to do.”
The 35 percent increase was the maximum increase allowed under the act. The act also states that flat-rent rates shall not be lower than 80 percent of the fair market rental established under the act.
When tenants move into a public housing apartment in the EHDA communities, they can choose to have a flat-rate rent or an income-based rent. The flat-rate is based on fair market value for comparable rents in similar units in the same area. The income-based rent is calculated for a portion of the resident’s income; which is 30 percent of the monthly adjusted income, 10 percent of the monthly annual income or a minimum rate of $25.