Public Announcements

 

Springfield Housing Authority clients won’t suffer under new pact with Peoria, director says

The time that Springfield Housing Authority executives will devote to oversee management of a similar housing agency in Peoria won’t cause services for low-income tenants to suffer in the capital city, SHA’s executive director says.

“We will certainly not compromise either housing authority,” Jackie Newman told The State Journal-Register.

Newman, 52, a Springfield native and executive director of the SHA for almost 13 years, said she will spend at least one day a week in Peoria as part of a management agreement unanimously approved by the boards of both federally funded units of local government.

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American Lung Association to Offer Assistance with Implementing HUD's Smokefree Housing Rule

CHICAGOApril 5, 2018 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In support of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) rule requiring all public housing agencies (PHAs) to implement a smokefree policy by July 31, 2018, and with funding from the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, the American Lung Association will help facilitate successful implementation of the rule through the Smokefree Public Housing Initiative. The American Lung Association will assist public housing agencies (PHAs) through this new initiative in fostering a smooth transition in select states by sharing best practices from its many years of experience with implementing smokefree housing policies and providing quit-smoking support to residents who are ready to quit.

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Alton Housing moving on materials testing, renovating Alton Manor kitchens

ALTON — With kitchen improvements coming this year at Alton Manor public housing complex, Alton Housing Authority Board of Commissioners agreed Tuesday to amend its agreement with architects.

The addendums, to AHA’s contract with Melotte Morse Leonatti Parker Ltd. of Springfield, Illinois, provides for lead-based paint and asbestos testing in the 44, circa 1959 apartments at Dooley Drive and East Elm Street.

AHA Executive Director Greg Denton said the additional cost of testing for asbestos would run between $1,615 and $1,775; and $7,955 for testing for presence of lead-based paint. “It would be a maximum of $9,730” additional cost, he said.

Previously, the AHA reserved the apartments for senior citizens and people with disabilities, but now it is making the units available to the general population.

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Springfield Housing Authority will manage Peoria Housing Authority

PEORIA — An under-performing housing authority is seeking help from a high-performing one.

The Peoria Housing Authority has entered into a 12-month intergovernmental agreement with the Springfield Housing Authority to manage the Peoria operation, said Peoria’s board chairman, Jim Fassino. The agreement also carries an option for a six-month extension.

This comes after Paul Bollinger’s contract as executive director was not renewed in January. Bollinger had served as the PHA director for two years. Chief Financial Officer Theresa Switzer has been serving as director in the interim.

Fassino said the housing authorities in Peoria and Springfield share a number of characteristics. “Springfield is a very similar city to us in size and housing numbers,” he said.

But the Springfield authority is rated as a “high performer” by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. “Very few achieve that rating among housing authorities,” Fassino said.

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Housing authority seeking state help for $11.6M Rock Island project

ROCK ISLAND — Plans are advancing for a proposed $11.6 million redevelopment project to convert the obsolete Lincoln Homes public housing property into a single-family row house community of 46 homes.

Community Housing Services, the non-profit affiliate of Rock Island Housing, has applied to the Illinois Housing Development Authority for low income housing tax credits to fund the demolition and redevelopment of the site.

“The redevelopment of Lincoln Homes has been an important goal for us for a long time,” said Susan Anderson, CHS CEO and executive director of RIHA. “The competition for funding will be fierce, but we are excited and hopeful that the project will be approved.”

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Illinois Senators Introduce CAIRO Act

The Creating American Investment, Redevelopment and Opportunity, CAIRO, Task Force Act to form a cabinet-level task force was introduced Jan. 30 by U.S. Senators Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., and Dick Durbin, D-Ill.

The task force would be created to address the housing, health and economic crises in Cairo.

In introducing this legislation for the new task force focused on Cairo, the Senators said they are seeking to codify a September request to President Donald Trump that they said he has failed to act upon. 

In that letter, they highlight the federal government’s role in exacerbating the problems in Cairo and call on his administration to fulfill a Trump-campaign promise to help rural communities across America like Cairo.

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Teresa Greenstreet of Warren County Housing Authority Receives the 2017 IAHA David W. Morgan Memorial Award

 

Teresa Greenstreet with Warren County Housing Authority Receives the 2017 IAHA David W. Morgan Memorial Award.

Teresa Greenstreet began her employment at Warren County Housing Authority, WCHA, in October 1978, occupying every office from secretary/receptionist to that of Executive Director. Teresa was elevated to the position of Executive Director in the spring of 1998.

Challenges always surround Executive Directors, but Teresa faced an even larger uphill battle as she watched occupancy rates plummet following the departure of many foreign workers at Farmland Foods in Monmouth who called Lincoln Homes, the PHA’s family site in Monmouth, home. The mass exodus, combined with the rough reputation the Housing Authority site was trying to overcome since its inception in 1970 seemed insurmountable. As many as 40 to 45 of the 80 units were not only abruptly empty, but dirty, and needed a complete turnaround for re-rent. The occupancy rate at the remote site in Roseville fell below 50%, with some units empty for years.  An 8-unit site in Kirkwood, IL was never full and in need of repair. And to add to her fate, 2 months after taking the reins as Executive Director, Teresa was introduced to a new HUD plan called REAC. Yes, HUD is actually going to come to your PHA, inspect and grade the site visit, upon which your future funding will depend. The situation was grim.

Knowing the only way to pull things together was to get organized and get involved, both of which Teresa did and did well. Leading by example, it was all hands-on board at Lincoln Homes…cleaning, painting, and repairing until they were all considered ready to rent. REAC scored Warren County Housing Authority at 98%, its first of six consecutive designations in the high performer category. Teresa, in an effort to bring stability and the towns respect back to 800 South 9th Street in Monmouth, worked in tandem with the occupancy manager, and tore into the application and recertification processes, updating any and all language, and strictly enforcing the existing rules and regulations, some of which ended in evictions.  Setting her sights on Roseland Homes and Kirkland Homes, Teresa spearheaded the direction of the Modernization Program, now known as the Capital Fund Program, towards the improvement and marketability of those two locations, replacing lighting, driveways, sidewalks, adding playgrounds and storage sheds. It didn’t happen overnight, but it all started to work. Apartments began to fill with people who were once afraid of those very some properties. Headstart located a facility at Lincoln Homes, an after-school program began at Lincoln Homes, a summer feeding program for kids began at Lincoln Homes, and about the only thing missing is the office once occupied by the Monmouth Police Department, because it is no longer needed.  Teresa once told me (Dennis Schumacher) about 10 years ago, that if there were drugs or guns in Lincoln Homes, she didn’t know about it. What a bold, but accurate statement, something not many of her statewide counterparts could say.

Her office habits are the same. Get to work early, be the last one to leave but always be ready to help the staff who can’t work through something. Everyone came out of a meeting with Teresa with options on whatever the situation required.  That included her Executive Director counterparts throughout the state, who after time, realized who to go to for an opinion, or help. Our auditor lauded her in private and public before our Board of Commissioners, who were assured each year that the books were in order and there is more money in the bank than before. Her audits, per Andy Zenk, of Zenk and Associates, were the gold standard.

Sometimes Teresa and I didn’t see eye to eye. She is a bit of a tree hugger, I like sharpened chain saws She likes to watch the reserves grow, I like to spend money. She takes the stairs, I take the elevator. Those differences worked well, thought, as we always had good conversation and thought prior to decision-making.

Every staff member respected Teresa and enjoyed her company, as did her fellow administrative and maintenance staffs throughout Illinois.  In October, Teresa will celebrate her 39th year on staff at Warren County Housing. She has a habit of making things last as she just celebrated her 45th wedding anniversary.

 

Teresa and Denny

Jerry Gille, Dennis Schumacher, Teresa Greenstreet and Joann Pink

 

Macoupin Housing Services cuts ribbons

Representatives from Macoupin Housing Services (MHS) and the Macoupin County Housing Authority (MCHA) cut the ribbons on three tax credit housing developments in the county at ceremonies held Sept. 23.

Home tours were available to area residents and local dignitaries at the 14 homes built in Staunton, nine in Bunker Hill and 15 in Gillespie. The homes were built through a low-income housing tax credit created under the 1986 Tax Reform Act. It gives incentives for the use of private equity in the development of affordable housing aimed at low-income Americans. The program is administered at the state level through the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA), which receives a fixed allocation of credits based on population.

The homes have to meet strict requirements with regard to construction standards and energy efficiency.

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