Call to Order
The meeting was called to order at 6:45 P.M. by Daniel Brosnan, in the John F. Cusack Board Room, located at 4 Winslow Street, Arlington, MA.
Present: Richard Murray, Nicholas Mitropoulos, Daniel Brosnan, Gaar Talanian and Bridgett James
Also Present: John J. Griffin, Executive Director and John L. Greco, Attorney
Notice to Town Clerk
Notice of this meeting was delivered electronically on October 23, 2012, and posted by the Arlington Town Clerk in accordance with the provisions of the Open Meeting Law.
Housing Choice Voucher Goals and Objectives Hearing
Mr. Griffin reviewed the Goals and Objectives of the AHA Housing Choice Voucher program.
Mr. Brosnan asked who the Inspector is now.
Mr. Griffin stated they have an in house inspector but they just issued an RFP with bids due July 15, 2013. He stated that they had three responses, one was from our own inspector.
Mr. Griffin stated they are preparing for a potential loss of income by looking at lowering payment standards and all other options due to the sequestration and decrease in funding from HUD.
Mr. Mitropoulos asked Mr. Griffin to explain Fair Market Rates and Payment Standards.
Mr. Griffin explained the process for determining maximum rents for the town and the effect that has on tenants trying to find units. He also explained that lowering payment standards would lower our payments but would increase the tenants. He explained that the AHA is trying to figure out what would be the most beneficial for the AHA and hurt the tenants the least in a worst-case scenario.
Goals and Objectives. The Arlington Housing Authority (AHA) quantifiable goals and objectives will enable us to serve the needs of low-income and very low-income, and extremely low-income families. The AHA intends to continue to make rental subsidies accessible so eligible families can afford safe, decent, and sanitary housing; to provide these housing services with integrity and mutual accountability.
The AHA is working to expand the supply of assisted housing by adjusting the payment standard to optimize the number of units available to program participants. The AHA will continue to look at cost savings measures to ensure the program sustainability. These may include but are not limited to; reassessing payment standards, outsourcing of inspections, requesting waivers from HUD, contracting with other Housing Authorities to manage their HCV Programs.
The AHA will try to maximize the use of vouchers within the Arlington Community by meeting with landlords and property owners to educate them on the HCV Program on the use of our website in finding Housing Choice Voucher holders. The AHA is open to requesting waivers from HUD on various policies and procedures of the HCV Program in order to accomplish their goals and objectives.
We will continue to undertake affirmative measures to ensure access to assisted housing regardless of race, color, religion national origin, sex, familial status, and disability and to ensure accessible housing to persons with all varieties of disabilities regardless of unit size required.
Continue with a “High Performer” status with SEMAP is one of the Section 8 Department’s top priorities. An increase of customer satisfaction with both tenants and landlords are implemented regularly as well as outreach efforts to potential landlords. Continued participation in Regional HCV Boards and Committees, as well as education and training for the staff to ensure program compliance and expertise in the HCV Program is strongly encouraged.
The AHA will continue using GoSection8.com. This software product enables the AHA to achieve rent reasonable certification required by HUD including all nine factors. It has utilized cutting edge technology which provides landlords to advertise available apartments for rent and for tenants to search apartments that accept Section 8 to rent.
AHA will continue to maintain a successful Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program. It has been providing supportive services to improve assistance recipient employability and self-sufficiency. We will continue to help provide affordable housing and economic opportunities. The AHA is enthusiastic in encouraging individuals to achieve maximum independence.
The AHA continues to accept the Universal Applications for State Aided Housing and continues to be a member of Mass NAHRO Centralized Waitlist for the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program. Applications can be obtained in person, from the AHA website or requested to be mailed.
Currently the AHA website, arlingtonhousing.org, is updated frequently so tenants and landlords can utilize this website for any forms needed during their annual recertifications or moves and allows them to obtain information regarding all the programs offered at the AHA. The Section 8 Administrative Plan will be updated in compliance with HUD regulations and procedures.
The AHA is willing to use Section 8 project-based assistance to support the construction of additional affordable housing units in the Town of Arlington. The AHA is open to project applications from community-based housing developers or other potential affordable housing development partners. As the HUD regulations permit up to 20% of the allocation to be used for this purpose, this has the potential for developing more than 84 affordable housing units in Arlington.
Upon a motion made by Mr. Mitropoulos and seconded by Mr. Murray it was unanimously voted in favor to accept the Housing Choice Voucher Goals and Objectives as amended.
Upon a motion made by Mr. Mitropoulos and seconded by Mr. Talanian it was unanimously voted to adjourn the meeting at 7:10 PM.