EHDA board approves agency’s Section 8 certification

Published 10:28 am Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The Elizabethton Housing and Development Agency Board of Commissioners Tuesday approved the certification for the agency’s Section 8 program and reviewed the EHDA’s annual report for 2014.

The Section 8 Management Assessment Program certification is an annual step that must be completed each year, EHDA Director Kelly Geagley said. Through the motion, the board approves Geagley’s certification of the program, which will be sent on to the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The certification shows that the EHDA is meeting the guidelines set by HUD for the Section 8 program, Geagley said. After receiving each agency’s certification, HUD will rank the agencies as either a high, standard or troubled performer. The EHDA has been ranked annually for years as a high performer.

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“We have always ranked as a high performer, and that is because our Section 8 staff work so hard,” Geagley said.

SEMAP measures a housing agency’s compliance in 13 areas to determine whether guidelines are being met. These areas include selection from waiting list, reasonable rent, determination of adjusted income, utility allowance schedule, quality control inspections, inspection enforcements, expanding housing opportunities, payment standards, annual reexaminations, tenant rent calculations, pre-contract and annual inspections and lease-ups.

For many of the categories, compliance is required 98 percent of the time, but Geagley said EHDA has marked compliance in 100 percent of the cases.

The board also reviewed the EHDA’s annual report. The annual report details the year-long activities of the housing agency, such as applications accepted, vacancies and agency events.

Highlights from 2014 for EHDA included 100 percent rent collection in February, April, July and November.

In February, David Timbs completed 15 years with the EHDA and Genna Price completed her 15th year in March.

In April, the EHDA ranked as a high performer on the public housing assessment and new handheld radios were purchased.

In May, the 2013 audit was received with no findings, and the EHDA was ranked as a high performer for the Section 8 assessment.

In 2014, the EHDA accepted 298 applications for public housing assistance. There were a total of 93 vacancies available during the year.

The EHDA leases 326 apartments that are capable of providing adequate housing for 617 people. Of the apartments, 16 are handicap accessible and eight more have been modernized for handicap accessibility.

Applications are accepted weekly from single residents, families and elderly clients. Eligibility is determined by income and non-economic criteria. Applications are maintained on a waiting list based on the date and time the application was filed.

The EHDA was still ranked as a high performer on the annual Public Housing Assessment System. The agency received an overall score of 95 out of 100.

Through the capital fund program, the agency renovated eight existing units to make them handicap accessible.

The agency also purchased eight surveillance cameras and one digital recorder for Rolling Hills Estates.

The agency also continues to host several resident programs including coffee and donuts with the director, the Education Incentive Program, Youth of the Month, adult day group, computer lab and homework help and several holiday celebrations.