Housing board looking to fill vacancies

The Warren County Housing Authority board of directors met last week, and while they discussed a number of issues, they couldn’t vote on anything as there was no quorum.

Ironically, one of the discussions involved interviewing replacements for board vacancies. Several interviews were with housing authority residents, one with a county employee and another is scheduled with a person with experience at the Erie County authority.

Tracey Kranak, authority fiscal director reported that the books currently are showing a loss, however when deposits are made next month for December the loss will disappear. She said the rental income is about $50,000 over the anticipated amount. Overall, she said the cash flow is “healthy,” and there is enough money coming in to the Section Eight vouchers to cover what was paid out.

Joe Saeli was introduced to the board as the new Resident Initiatives coordinator. He described his duties as tackling “the little issues for the residents that were taking up staff time… and getting the resident community together with positive activities.”

Tonya Mitchell-Weston noted that Saeli has a background in working with mental health issues.

She suggested policy changes to give someone paying child support a reduction in their gross income level. The adjustment would be 50 percent of child support that was court-ordered and automatically deducted from their pay. She gave an example of someone paying $500 a month in support that had an income high enough to disqualify them from low-income housing, yet so many expenses that they couldn’t afford rent.

Another proposal was to give a five percent discount to wage earners that were actively employed.

Section Eight Housing Coordinator Mary Mundt said that the average age of voucher recipients in Warren County is 52, and Mitchell-Weston added that the national average is between 25 and 50.