Program running on high side

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Even though he's comfortable with the direction the program is heading, Greencastle Housing Authority Executive Director Max Johnson is still hesitant about the housing voucher program.

On Thursday, Johnson told the seven-member GHA board that there were 185 units currently being leased.

"That's the wrong direction," Johnson said. "We're running a little higher than we want."

Johnson said there are currently three vouchers out and 12 more processed, leaving him concerned about the program's current numbers.

"There is very little in the pipeline, which makes me very, very nervous," he said. 'That's what got us in trouble the last time."

The program began the year with only 173 occupants. However, it has seen a steady increase since then and has maxed out at 185.

Still, Johnson said the program is in decent shape.

"We're fine right now," he said. "If I finished the year now, I'd be happy. But, it's only September."

Johnson said the program could house 185 through October, but he would like to be near 180 at the end of the year.

After starting the year off by getting different money amounts for the voucher program, Johnson said funding has equaled out. The voucher program received $46,707.33 in September, but used $47,946, leaving the program $1,609.50 in the red with only three months left this year.

The program has ran in the red for three consecutive months, having started in the red at $186.17 in July and increased to $370.83 in August.

Meanwhile, the board heard an update on the A-Way Home Shelter.

Johnson told the board members Thursday that there were 11 current occupants at the shelter, including three children.

"That's down from where we were," he said.

Johnson said earlier this month, there were only four occupants at the shelter.

In other business, the board:

-- Learned that GHA is now using Broadreach as its Internet provider. Johnson informed the board that Internet use is much faster now. However, he said GHA is still using its Joink account because of e-mail and there will be an overlap of the two services.

-- Learned that the GHA copy machine is up and running again.

-- Approved expenses.

-- Learned from Johnson that a HUD inspection of Northview Apartments did not take place. Johnson said HUD had told him they notified him of the inspection via e-mail, but Johnson said he never received the e-mail. When HUD came to perform the inspection, Johnson said he asked them if they would postpone the event so he could give tenants more advance notice.

-- Learned there were two vacancies at Northview Apartments.

-- Learned the new computer system was up and running and all the old computers had been wiped clean of all information.

The board meets regularly on the second Thursday of each month. Its next meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m., Oct. 12.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: