Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Housing Authority Votes Budget

Amherst Housing Authority

The Amherst Housing Authority voted unanimously yesterday to approve a $1,662,631 budget for the upcoming 2016 Fiscal Year which includes a 2% increase in employee pay, although Executive Director Denise LeDuc, whose contract was extended two years, garnered a 1.5% increase to around $88,000 annually.

 Commission member Laura Quinn

During the routine approval of minutes Commission member Laura Quinn criticized the record keeping from the March 2nd meeting as "cryptic". 

When asked to explain by outgoing Chair Paul Bobrowski she pointed out that her suggestion the Executive Director performance review be tied to her contract extension did not make it into the minutes.

The minutes were then amended to reflect her concerns, although not before audience member Alan Root complained they had been "sanitized."

 Alan Root leaning in

The Amherst Housing Authority owns 191 units of housing in Amherst and manages another 36 units.  But their main influence with providing affordable housing comes via a "voucher" program.  The AHA oversees a federally funded Section 8 Rental program where they are authorized to issue up to 413 vouchers, which assists renters based on their income.

Housing Urban Development funding for that voucher program has returned from pre sequestation levels.  In the upcoming fiscal year the AHA will receive $3,077,917 or enough to fund 390 vouchers, 23 less than their maximum.

Currently over 600 people/families are on the waiting list to receive a voucher.

Since the vouchers are based on a recipients income things can change from month to month. If the person loses their job then the amount of the voucher goes up thus making it hard to project overall costs.

Annual HUD funding is based on previous year's spending so if you have too much money left over your funding next year could go down, but if your average voucher goes up too much and the budget is overrun, they have to dip into reserves.  



Dr. Ed said...

Oh how do I wish you were covering the AHA a decade ago -- but you need to ask two questions Larry.

1: What impact does paying 120% of "fair Market Value" have on the number of vouchers they can fund? Yes, the AHA can subsidize 20% OVER what HUD considers to be the reasonable rental rate for a specific type of unit in Amherst.

2: To what extent are the operating expenses of the AHA responsible for this?

Anonymous said...

2 questions
Is Butternut section 8, if not what are its qualifications for low income?
If you are in section 8 or low income housing, do you have to make any effort to be employed?