EHDA budget keeps cost of living affordable for residents

Published 9:27 am Friday, November 27, 2015

At Tuesday’s Elizabethton Housing and Development Agency meeting, Commissioners approved a resolution that will allow low-income public housing residents the choice to pay rent according to the base flat rent rate, or they may pay based on 30 percent of the household income. The flat rent rate, which is determined by the Housing and Urban Development Department based on the number of rooms in a flat, recently decreased.
“This will go into effect on January 1 and I expect it will help our residents by making rent more affordable,” said EHDA Executive Director Kelly Geagley. “Anything that helps the residents, I love.”
Additionally, the budget for fiscal year 2016 was unanimously approved with no considerable changes from 2015.
“It’s a fiscally sound budget with no majorly expensive line items,” said Geagley. “We have no new employees and again based this off of historical data.”
Funding for extermination was increased by $5,000, which Geagley said will help them to prepare and be proactive with pest control.
Commissioners unanimously approved a five percent cost of living adjustment and a spot award of $2,000 for EHDA employees, which will be funded by surplus funding from the 2015 budget.
“In the years we can, we give a spot award to employees because they makes us; they earned it by working hard and deserve it well,” said Geagley.
Another resolution was passed which allows residents to request individual relief from surcharge excess consumption of utilities, which may result from the use of medical equipment like an oxygen pump or kidney dialysis machine or others needs.
“We charge based on average kilowatt-hours per flat, and if they go over, they reimburse us, so that creates a sense of accountability but also helps people to afford their utilities,” said Geagley.
The cost of electrical utilities did not increase and will continue being charged to residents at cost based on kilowatt-hours.

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