December 2017 Print

President's Report

Dear IAHA Members:

Tis the holiday season.  2018 is right around the corner and I know we all are going into it with our “happy thoughts”.  My happy thoughts: 

  •        that Washington, HUD and the Field Office begin to truly value our work and feel and know what we all go thru daily instead of thinking and believing in the perfect world;
  •        that moneys begin to flow our way to keep our mission going;
  •        and that our clients realize that we are here to help them, and they will comply with regs and policies to make our work easier.

These are just a few “happy thoughts” I have.

Now back to reality. I know these are things that may never come true.  I know moneys are not flowing our way like they should, that Washington and HUD will never get out of there crystal palace thoughts and that we will be looked upon as not doing our job properly. Especially with comments from new director like, “we are not here to keep people in jobs, we are here to house people”. And with instances like Cairo, we will have a tough battle – as we all know, crap rolls downhill and with as much attention as this has gotten, we will end up all being “punished” and all must answer and defend ourselves as time goes on, both to HUD and locally. 

I know, this probably is not what you all wanted to see in a newsletter article and especially at this time of year.

But, the best thing of all (and a “HAPPY THOUGHT”) is that we have each other!  We have very strong relationships, and a strong organization that I can say I am proud to be a member of and can be of service to!  We must all keep that in mind as we move forward!  In 2018 we must all be united and stand our ground.  We provide a very valuable service to our community and our clients!  We must never forget that!

With that, may all have a wonderful and Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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Calendar of Events

You’ll want to mark your calendars for the upcoming IAHA Maintenance and Management Clinic.  This two-and-a-half-day event is the premier education event for IAHA members!  We will be in Decatur again in 2018 at the Decatur Conference Center and Hotel.  The dates are April 11 to 13.  The education committee is working diligently to provide you with a variety of topics.  If you are looking for something in particular, please contact Kate Cole at iahaonline18@gmail.com and we’ll see what we can do.  While we are at the same location, we are going to try switching it up a bit….more details to come!  Registration will be open the first of January.

Be sure to tell your vendors about the date.  We are always looking for new vendors.  Their registration will be open the first of January as well.

This years theme is the Circus!!  

 

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Awards

 

Teresa Greenstreet of 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. Read more...

Winnebago County Housing Authority Receives the IAHA 2017 Resident Relations Award.

SUMMARY OF PROGRAMThe Winnebago Homes Association (WHA) is an affordable housing development nonprofit component of the Winnebago Housing Authority  (WCHA) which is providing a home to the Rockford Police Department (RPD) for the Police Officer Residency Program. In this program, a police officer is provided a home in a high crime area of Rockford. The home is provided rent free for the Officer's residence, and in return the Officer commits to a visible and high profile community involvement. The Officer commits to a three year residency and the program has been proven to have a measurable impact in reducing crime. Read more...

Housing Authority of Joliet Receives 2017 AHA Outstanding Achievement for Operational Excellence Award

SUMMARY OF PROGRAM: In 2012, numerous deficiencies in mismanagement and financial issues caused the HAJ to be designated by the Department of Housing and Urban Development as a “troubled” Public Housing Authority. The agency serves of a total of 2,491 units that include Conventional Public Housing units and Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers. With transparency as to its challenges and an unwavering commitment to improvement, the Housing Authority of Joliet began the hard work of correcting those challenges and re-designing its agency to become a leader in public and affordable housing. Read more...

The Housing Authority of the County of DeKalb Receives the 2017 IAHA Miscellaneous Award

SUMMARY OF PROGRAM: The Housing Authority of the County of DeKalb [HACD] began its quest to find a solution to improve the quality of living for our residents. Specifically, a situation that we were commonly finding many of our residents “suffering” with, or potentially facing termination because of their inability to maintain lease compliance. Read more...

IAHA 2017 Outstanding Achievement of Creativity Award goes to....Freeport Housing Authority

SUMMARY OF PROGRAM: The Office of Parent Engagement is a new program to encourage parent involvement in their child(ren)’s education, as well as their own personal development. In hearing concerns through the community, the Office of Parent Engagement provides a neutral meeting place for students, parents, teachers and school administrators.The Office will cause increased parent engagement, improve student education success, and increase community awareness of the need for parent engagement. Read more...

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Shop Talk

Four thoughts to end 2017.  Please respond with any comments, positive or negative, as I always enjoy the feedback!

1.     BED BUGS.  As I mentioned earlier, it seems like each HA is settling into its own method of attack as soon as they are discovered.  And, after all we have been through, there does not seem to be any uniform “line of attack” used by almost every HA that I thought we would have by now.  I still intend to put together a bed bug training just for PHA’s.  My hope is to get a representative from each Housing Authority who use a different approach that works for them.  It is not intended to be the end-all, know-all program, but a training for open discussion allowing you to take plenty of notes to take back to your HA to formulate a game plan.  Anyone still interested in such a program?  Maybe in January or February?  BTW…the latest chat on the bed bug subject concerns how our policies affect those PHA employees who may experience an outbreak at home, following an outbreak at work.  Is the PHA on the hook for mitigating an employee’s home, as well?  Several ED’s responded that they favor paying for such.  Others do not.  Is this covered in your policy?  Interesting stuff!  

 2.    SEDAC.  On December 31st, the University of Illinois’s SEDAC’s (Smart Energy Design Assistance Center) association with several of the utility companies will end, with the utility companies primarily in charge of the grant money, effective January 1, 2018.  This includes Ameren IL, which includes Warren County.  I am not sure who will be our contact representative at Ameren about obtaining grant money for qualifying energy-efficient upgrades.  I would, however, like a loud shout-out to Kate and Erma, and all their counterparts at SEDAC, for all the years (AND MONEY!) they have devoted to this program.  The list of items they helped us with is too long to name here, but it would be very interesting to be able to put a dollar amount of the savings from all the upgrades.  I am on the path to find out what is around the corner for our utility and when I know, I will pass it along.  

3.     CLINIC.  Jen Stegall from Knox County Housing and I will present the “farewell tour” of our little dog and pony show at next year’s clinic in Decatur.  Geared towards property managers and capital fund program managers (but open to all!), I am updating many subjects on the slide show as this is written.   Basically, Jen and I get away from the rules and regulations training to focus, but not dwell, on such things as the Capital Fund Program (what went right AND what went wrong), Physical Needs Assessment, apartment fires, the tenant charge list,  boiler logs, preventative maintenance, marketing, loss prevention, bed bugs and much more.  Totally interactive setting which is the best learning environment there is. 

4.     GRATITUDE.  Well, this time of the year we all reflect about a ton of things.  Employment at a PHA is challenging at times for the many reasons you know all too well about.  However, never underestimate the amount of good we do for our tenants and our community

Have a wonderful holiday season.     Denny Schumacher, WCHA 

 

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Council Updates

NICHA's next meeting will be held in February of 2018 via teleconference.  More information will be coming when the date and time are finalized.

CHICO applications for scholarships are due on February 1st.  There will be a meeting in February and more information to come. 

 

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Well...isn't that interesting....

The American Psychiatric Association (APA) has recently announced that compulsive hoarding is now considered a mental disability, and is therefore protected under the nation’s various disability related laws; this includes the fair housing laws under The Civil Rights Act of 1958 and various state and local fair housing laws. This effectively means that tenants with hoarding issues must now be considered eligible for reasonable accommodations under fair housing law, and automatic lease termination for such households is not permitted.

Above is information that was shared by Steve Allen.

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