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Friday, May 6, 2016

Housing board hears positive report for year

Friday, July 14, 2006

Max Johnson is getting use to all the juggling he's been doing this year.

On Friday, the Executive Director of the Greencastle Housing Authority said the Section 8 housing voucher program is in good shape and should remain in good shape for the rest of this year.

"We're right where we want to be," Johnson said. "We're doing really well."

Through its July meeting, the GHA board learned the program was funded for $46,415. It used $47,130 for a difference of $713. However, the program is still $1,080 in the clear with five months remaining this year.

Johnson said the program is currently leasing 180 units, seven more than it had in January. He said the voucher program should be able to lease at least 179 through this year.

"Based on our current numbers, I can average 179," he said.

In the past, the Department of Housing and Urban Development projected money for voucher programs based on the number of units each housing authority utilized. However, H.U.D. now bases the program on the amount of money each authority uses.

Johnson said GHA currently is utilizing 99.67 percent of money it has received.

"We've been staying pretty steady," he said. "I think we're as close to perfect as we can be. Our utilization is about 100 percent, and that's as good as it gets.

"We're really stretching that money to serve as many people we can serve."

However, the money the GHA has received this year for the program has been in different increments nearly each month. In January and February, the program received $46,049, but it tallied $46,598 in March, May and June. In April, the program received $50,109, which put it $3,325 in the black.

"I have no idea how much money we're going to get," Johnson said.

Meanwhile, Johnson said that 19 people are currently occupying the A-Way Home Shelter, including six children.

Johnson said the shelter's fiscal year numbers were not what he had hoped, saying the shelter was $645.79 in the red at the end of June 30.

"The bottom line is, we're real close but we'll probably finish below a little," he said. "We did not quite finish in the black."

Johnson said the numbers at the shelter have been up dramatically from last year. He said the shelter housed an average of 19 people through the fiscal year. The average for 2004-05 was 14 people per day.

However, he said the shelter recently learned one of its grants was cut nearly in half, leaving many wondering how the shelter would be able to fund itself this year.

Johnson said the Emergency Shelter Grant, which funded $22,987 of shelter costs last year, was cut this year. The shelter will receive $11,713 from the grant this year.

"We have no idea why (the grant was cut)," Johnson said. "That's a devastating blow. We don't know what we're going to do."

The housing authority meets regularly on the second Thursday of each month. Its next meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m., Aug. 10.

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