June 2017 Print

President's Report

We just finished up another great M&M Clinic!  We had great attendance, a lot of good training that everyone took part in and just overall fun with the Vendor Vegas night, the maintenance Olympics returning and the IAHA dinner dance.

It is always a great pleasure to give out door prizes to our “probies” (newcomers) to the clinic, who always seem to win a lot!  I heard a lot of good comments about what was offered as far as training and a couple negatives for which the committee will take back in planning next year’s Clinic.  (Even heard a good comment from an attendee about the colorful shirts I wear!)  And no one complained about having to hear me always at the mic! 

By the way, mark your calendars – Clinic 2018 dates are April 11, 12 and 13, 2018.  We will be back at the Decatur Conference Center.  They always take care of us. 

After a full day of training Wednesday of the Clinic, we all got to visit with our 50 plus vendors that supported us this year.  Many had “Vegas” games for you play.  We had numerous returning vendors who have supported IAHA year after year and we had some first timers as well.  We are very thankful for both!  The maintenance Olympics took center stage for a while with several teams vying for the fastest time in completing repairs.  Afterwards off to AHRMA’s Hospitality Room and many to the Sports Complex Bar for karaoke and libations. 

Thursday after a great breakfast, more training.  We had the privilege of hearing from James Cunningham, Deputy Regional Administrator of HUD Region V. at lunch.  With the new administration in Washington, there are a lot of items that are unknown.  But it was great he got to see such a turnout from an organization like IAHA.  Dinner and dance went well – everyone seemed to have a good time, then after off to AHRMA’s hospitality suite and Sports Complex for more karaoke.

Friday, we got to hear from HUD again and items that are a top priority to them.

I want to thank our members for their support.  It is great to see so many different housing authorities attending and both familiar and new faces.  The clinic committee works hard to provide you and your staff with great education, networking and some fun. Thank you clinic committee for your hard work and efforts each year and thank you attendees for taking the time from your busy lives to join us. See you next year!

 

 

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Awards

The Illinois Association of Housing Authorities is pleased to announce that that nominations for the 2017 awards are now being taken.  There are five categories for housing authorities and a HUD staff award. Past recipients have stated that they are honored to receive the award.   You may nominate yourself, your executive director, a team member or another housing authority.

The categories are:

  •          DAVID W. MORGAN MEMORIAL AWARD – Recognizes an individual who has made outstanding accomplishments at their agency and exceptional contributions to the Illinois Association of Housing Authorities.  The David W. Morgan Award was initiated in 1987 by IAHA in honor of the late David W. Morgan, one of the leaders in the foundation and development of IAHA.
  •          OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN RESIDENT RELATIONS – Recognizes an agency or organization that has developed programs that enhance the lives of Residents.
  •          OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT FOR CREATIVITY AWARD – Recognizes programs that produce housing in an innovative manner, improve the efficiency of administrative operations or improve client services.
  •          OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT FOR OPERATIONAL EXCELLENCE – Recognizes exceptional qualified person who has made an outstanding contribution at their agency, improve the administrative operations and enhance the general functioning of the agency as documented by the performance standards established by HUD.
  •          MISCELLANEOUS ACHIEVEMENT-Please explain in detail who this person or agency is and why they should be recognized.  Recognizes anyone not fitting into the other categories.

 

The HUD Staff Award recognizes a HUD staff person for their outstanding leadership qualities and exceptional contributions to IAHA members.

The awards are presented each year at the annual meeting. This year the annual meeting will be on September 20 to 22, with the awards banquet the evening of Thursday, September 21.  The meeting will be held at the Northfield Inn in Springfield.  Watch the website for more information on the agenda.

You can find the awards application attached.  Nominations have to be delivered to Jerry Gille at the Quincy Housing Authority by August 11, 2017.

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New Shop Talk

SHOPTALK – JUNE 2017

With another Management and Maintenance Clinic in the books, we owe it to ourselves and those planning the annual event a brief and honest survey of the Clinic.  Please take the time to forward your thoughts about what you think works and what you think needs an overhaul.  Comments and concerns are crucial to future workshops and training, so I open this edition of SHOPTALK by challenging all who attended the Clinic in April to forward AT LEAST ONE thing you liked or did not like.  Also, I challenge each HA to lasso ONE new vendor for next year’s event.  They are out there, it just takes some thinking about it.  I have always been impressed by how well the convention center handles such a big crowd.  I spoke to the Manager of the Convention Center following the Thursday night events and she commented that they are the biggest property of their kind in Illinois, including Chicago.  So, be sure to e-mail Kate Cole at IAHA@management-hq.com, or any of the officers of the IAHA now while your thoughts are still fresh. 

                Warren County Housing, like many, many others were subjected to REAC inspections this spring.  We have been fortunate to only see the inspector every three years, but our efforts finally fell short in May.  Despite a score of 91% for AMP #1 in March, we ended up with an 87% for AMP #2 in May.  We hold our heads high, though, as we did our best in the era of new REAC protocols and inspectors.  And, quite frankly, it was a score that probably better reflected the current conditions.  We lost an appeal on AMP #1 and did not appeal anything on AMP #2 (although a couple of things did ruffle our feathers a bit).  However, we felt better after talking with John Emery of the Inspection Group Inc., who stated that many HAs would trade their recent REAC scores with us anytime.  I learned a lot by “escorting” the inspector again this time around, and certainly understand the importance of taking care of the outside of the buildings and the grounds as much as the interior stuff.  Our inspectors were both retired firefighters, so this must be a popular gig with that profession.  Both inspectors were fair in that there was give-and-take.  At the end of the day, I think we were treated fairly, and were looked favorably upon by both.  Regretfully, it comes down to a matter of luck in many units, in what they see and don’t see, as well as those apartments none of us like to go into anyway, especially with a REAC inspector!  C’mon, we all have them!  I have the REAC inspection summary and several other items in my files from the visit if you would like to know more about our inspections. 

                Spring has sprung and that means getting to some of those often over-looked items at our HAs.  Each year we clean the exterior dryer vent covers at our family units and document the condition of each as we do them.  Anything that is in need of repair or replacement is brought to the attention of the maintenance staff.  Be sure to notify the tenant if you see a large accumulation of lint.  Their dryer hose may not be connected, or even worse, missing!  No lint detected at all could also be a sign of an obstruction or disconnection.  Running a brush through the vent piping for the commercial dryer units is also advisable.   Another annual task is removing and thoroughly cleaning the guards around our central air conditioner units.  Most of our guards have hinges that makes it a one-person job.  Use a blower (and water hose, if necessary) to get all the leaves, garbage and crud removed.  You might be amazed as to what you will find under and behind these units.  Remember…the condenser needs to breathe, and keeping it clean and the surrounding area clean allows it to do its job.  If you don’t, and it quits working, you might be jeopardizing the unit’s warranty, which is usually about 5 years on the sealed system.   Fins bent on any outside units?  If so, buy a fin comb and straighten them out as best as you can.  Keep an eye on all gutters for weeds that may be sprouting up and clean them as soon as possible.  An umbrella is one my props at my presentation at the clinic in Decatur because the best time to find a plugged, leaking, or disconnected gutter or downspout IS WHEN IT IS RAINING, not after it quits!  Another must-have item is a pair of binoculars.  I see used ones at yard sales and auctions all the time and they are handy to have!

                We are still considering some sort of Public Housing forum concerning BED BUGS.  Our approach would be similar to the REAC refresher course presented this spring in Kewanee and Petersburg.  We had a great time with the open-forum type of training, and think this would be a good way to help everyone with the latest and greatest lessons learned by our counterparts throughout the state.  It would be just HAs in attendance, as we all know what the bugs look like and where to find them by now.  Should this idea come to fruition, I will send the information out to the IAHA membership.  Please let me know if you are interested in this type of forum on bed bugs.    

                Keep up the good work out there, everyone!  I always welcome feedback on Shoptalk, too!

Dennis Schumacher

Warren County Housing Authority

200 East Harlem Avenue

Monmouth, IL   61462 

warrenhousing@frontier.com         

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