Housing board approves changes to utility allowance payments

Published 8:48 am Wednesday, December 17, 2014


The Elizabethton Housing and Development Board of Directors approved a change to the agency’s administrative plan that will change how utility allowances are paid to residents.
With the change, the tenants will only receive utility vouchers for the unit size they have been approved for regardless of the size rented by the family.
Each tenant in the EHDA community receives utility vouchers to cover the cost of water and electric usage in the units. If the tenants’ usages goes over the vouchered amount, they must pay the difference.
Geagley said with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development recommended change, the tenants will now receive those utility vouchers only for the unit size they are approved for.
For example, if a family is approved for a two-bedroom unit but opt to rent a three-bedroom apartment, then they will receive utility vouchers for two-bedroom usage.
Vice-chair Bobby Lyons asked if that would apply in opposite circumstances, if a family was a approved for three bedrooms but chose to live in a two-bedroom unit. Geagley said the agency was not allowed by law to under-house tenants. Tenants can be placed in the unit size they qualify for, or they can choose a larger unit.
“We can’t put tenants in units smaller than what they qualify for,” he said.
The board also approved writing off the delinquent accounts from the past year, which totaled 17 accounts for $7,835.72.
Geagley explained to the board this was a bookkeeping procedure to properly close the books for the year. The agency does still try to collect the funds owed from the individuals.
The board selected a new chairman and vice chairman to serve for the coming year. Dale Shook will be chairman of the board and Larry Gobble will be vice chairman.

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