EHDA loses $60,000 in HUD funding

Published 12:06 pm Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Elizabethton Housing and Development Agency lost capital funding from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, which will limit the capital projects the agency has planned for the coming year, the EHDA director told the agency’s board Wednesday.
EHDA Director Kelly Geagley told the EHDA board of directors the agency lost about $60,000 in HUD funding from what was received last year. The EHDA had expected to receive around $420,000 but was appropriated $381,316 for the 2015 capital projects.
“This does limit what we can do,” Geagley said. “This is the fourth year we have had a decrease in funding. We are grateful for everything we get, but it does make it harder for us to do what we need to do.”
Geagley said the agency had planned to do flooring upgrades, parking lot and sidewalk repairs, landscaping, roof repairs, new water heaters and appliances for the apartments, bathroom renovations, electricity upgrades and new emergency pull cords for the senior citizen apartments.
With the decrease in funding, the EHDA will focus on paving the parking lots and making upgrades to the roofs and porches on the apartments, Geagley said.
“The parking is always an issue,” he said “Some of the apartments on Spruce Lane have roof issues near the porches. We have been working on those for the past few years, so we will finish that up.”
Any leftover funding will be used for new appliances and water heaters in the apartments on a priority basis.
“We would have gotten better prices if we could have done a bulk order and replaced them all at once,” Geagley said.
The board approved continued support for the resident services that are offered to the residents of the public housing community.
The resident services program covers every activity or program the EHDA offers to the residents of the housing community. The program helps to improve the quality of life for residents in the EHDA communities, Geagley said.
“The program has something for everyone,” he said. “We have enough program and activities for all ages. Everyone can find something that interests them.”
The resident services department offers adult educational classes, recreational activities and youth programs. It also oversees the publication of the EHDA newsletter, designs the resident calendar and maintains the EHDA website.
For the youth, the residents services department offers a summer kick-off picnic, a summer day camp with Hale Community Ministries, pool passes, game days and after-school homework help, among other activities. Adult programs include the adult group that meets Tuesday and Thursday mornings to do crafting and take day trips. They also host coffee and donuts with the director, National Night Out, Neighborhood Watch, adult cooking classes, computer classes and special events for the holidays.
The program oversees the monthly Youth of the Month award, the Good Grade winners, Prompt Payer awards and the Good Housecleaning awards. The new resident welcome kits and the new baby welcome kits are another aspect of the resident services program.
Some of the programs were designed to teach residents new skills or to aid with job searches.
“We have classes on budgeting and cooking,” he said. “We like to provide opportunities to help the residents better their lives and to become more self-sufficient.”
Geagley explained the approval for the continued support of the program was routine business that had to be conducted every year.

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