August 2018 Print

President's Report

I have had the pleasure of serving as your President for two years now.  In looking back I feel we have made great progress as an organization.  Here are just a couple of the highlights:

  • Re-grouped on Strategic Plan, review previous task list, revised to move forward with:
    • Facebook - IAHA group to share information with others (expanded to recently adding a Maintenance group)
    • Handbook for new Executive Directors (completed and distributed with ongoing review)
    • Membership Survey – completed survey and got responses from 60% of our members revealing great information to begin process of formulating a flyer for IAHA members
  • Had very successful M&M Clinics - 2018 Clinic had highest attendance for many years
  • Successfully got leadership for the Membership Committee – this committee will look at what IAHA offers membership, and recommend changes that IAHA may need to accept to stay a viable, important resource to its’ membership
  • Have worked diligently on addressing legislative issues affecting IAHA thanks to the Legislative Committee and the IAHA lobbyist

I feel we have only touched the surface of showing what IAHA can do and offer as an organization.  With IAHA membership of 108 Housing Authorities and the moneys we bring into Illinois, as well as the number of clients and communities we serve, we have a great story to tell and we are on the way of being able to provide this with our informational flyer I mentioned.

I have asked to renew my term of President.  I am hopeful you the membership awards me this great opportunity.   It would be my honor to serve as your President for the next two years.

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Annual Meeting

This year’s IAHA Annual Meeting will be held at the Four Points by Sheraton in Fairview Heights. The meeting will be held on September 19th thru the 21st.  There is a packed agenda with great topics for you and your team.

We kick off the meeting at 1pm on Wednesday with Tim Kaiser of PHADA.  He will enlighten attendees on what is happening in Washington!  He will discuss the FY 2019 HUD appropriation, as well as a host of regulatory topics and policy matters.

On Thursday morning we will hear from Wendy Edwards with AHRMA and Sara Tripp with Rusin & Maciorowski regarding workers compensation. They will help you wade through the murky waters of a workers’ compensation defense.

On Thursday afternoon we are privileged to have Brendan Kelly with the St Clair County State’s Attorney’s office for an Illinois Crime Update. He will discuss the challenges of prosecuting crimes on public housing property, the Safe Neighborhoods Reform Act and drug crime penalties.

Back by popular demand and closing out Thursday is the Executive Directors Roundtable.  This discussion will be led by Eric Hanson and Derek Antoine.  What’s keeping you up at night? You don’t have to be the executive to participate in this valuable discussion!

Friday is a half-day of HUD!  Mike Siry, and Tedd Termunde will be discussing EPIC, PBV issues and answering your questions. Get some face time with the Chicago HUD staff.

You’ll want to register soon to save your place.  You can register at this link.


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Calendar of Events

The IAHA Education committee is always looking for ideas on the education you need and educators that do a great job.

There are two classes scheduled for December of 2018: 

December 4 & 5 – Combo Rent Calculation with Jamie Kinney Consulting

Rent Calculation is the foundation of your agency and every frontline staff member must completely understand this subject in its entirety. Our training method will allow your staff members to recall the information they learn on a long- term basis. This course covers Assets, Asset Income, Earned Income Disallowance, Income and Adjusted Income and the full HUD form 50058 Part 12.

The registration fee for this 2-day class is $265.00.  You can register at this link.

December 6 – Customer Service with Jamie Kinney Consulting

This course will give your staff the tools needed to perform great customer service with customers outside the agency as well as with other staff members within the agency. Bring that positive outlook to your agency with this seminar. Our training method will allow your staff members to recall the information they learn on a long-term basis.

The registration for this valuable class is $85.00.  You can register at this link.

You’ll want to keep an eye on the IAHA website for more information.

If you have suggestions on topics or speakers, please send information to Kate at

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Shop Talk

              This edition of Shop Talk will focus on something that recently occurred at our Housing Authority and I stress to all of you who follow my articles that I strive to help my counterparts with articles that sometimes documents our successes, but also includes what we could have done better.  Case in point happened the first weekend of August when I received a text from a tenant stating the coroner was on his way to our remote family site.  I immediately received a phone call from another tenant stating we have a big mess on our hands – a tenant was found deceased by his sister (also a tenant) and that the fire department and first responders were reporting a very messy situation, one that the county coroner explained to me as a body that was in an advanced stage of decomposition.  Being three days, it was surprising and a lesson learned on how quickly the human body will begin the decomposition process.  I have put out many fires on the weekends, at our Housing Authority, but quickly realized this was going to be something to act on as fast as I could.  A situation like this only happens at 7:00 pm on a Saturday! 

                After a discussion with my Executive Director, I started making phone calls and putting a plan together - one that I knew would be subject to change, but I needed to start gathering information. Reaching out at 7:00 pm on a Saturday night is somewhat humbling, but I have never been afraid to ask questions, and I sincerely thank those of you reading this that helped me in some way, shape or form.  I verified with the county coroner that the body had been removed and emergency personnel had left the scene.  I verified with two trustworthy individuals that the apartment was locked and secure.  The only other person who had a key was the sister that found the body.  Needing a better description of the condition of the apartment, I called the coroner back and was informed how bad the decomposition was and to be prepared for a clean-up that necessitated hiring a firm that specializes in the mitigation of bio-hazards.  He even recommended someone to me, a firm he is very familiar with, but has no ties to.  At that moment, I remember thinking – this is something I should have been better prepared for.  Also, who will clean up the mess?  What about the tenants on both sides of this apartment?  How much is this going to cost?  Will insurance pay for this? 

                Several phone calls later, I had a commitment from a firm based in Aurora, IL, that had a team in western Illinois, but could not get to Warren County until Tuesday.   That wasn’t going to work.  I put some pressure on the firm’s representative and was notified that someone could start at noon on Monday.  Now, unless the tenants in adjoining apartments started to voice concerns, I decided to wait it out.  I know the situation was bad, but didn’t want to pay double or triple overtime either.  Waiting until noon Monday also gave us a chance to re-group and get necessary paperwork together, like a contract for the work and certificate of insurance.  At Monday noon, the 25 foot box truck arrived on site, and backed up to the apartment.  The cleanup had begun.  By then, our jobs were to keep everyone away from the area and stay in close communication with the worker, who was there until noon Wednesday. He has been in that situation before, trying for 100% remediation, yet knowing the customer is watching the clock.  And it is a very expensive ticking clock. 

                Now that we are on the backside of this, it is time to get in there to clean out the rest of the apartment.  Hopefully, some of the family will take care of that for us, but, all too often in this business, we look at our maintenance and custodial staff and say “Here we go again!”  We have yet to receive the invoice, but are probably in the area of a good used car.  Here is AHRMA’s response concerning coverage of such:


i. Pathogenic or Poisonous Biological or Chemical Materials

1) AHRMA will not pay for loss or damage caused directly or indirectly by the discharge, dispersal, seepage, migration, release, escape or application of any pathogenic or poisonous biological or chemical materials. Such loss or damage is excluded regardless of any other cause or event that contributes concurrently or in any sequence to the loss. For purposes of this exclusion, human remains, including attendant fluids or discharges, will be considered to be pathogenic and poisonous biological and chemicals materials.


              I am sure there are many valid reasons for an insurance company to not cover such.  I am as dumb as I am poor when it comes to insurance.  Hopefully, this information will help other PHA’s to develop some protocol concerning this topic going forward.   Have a great fall and let me know your thoughts on this or any of my articles at         


Dennis Schumacher

Warren County Housing Authority

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The National Low Income Housing Coalition

The National Low Income Housing Coalition is dedicated solely to achieving socially just public policy that assures people with the lowest incomes in the United States have affordable and decent homes.

Founded in 1974 by Cushing N. Dolbeare, NLIHC educates, organizes and advocates to ensure decent, affordable housing for everyone.
Our goals are to preserve existing federally assisted homes and housing resources, expand the supply of low income housing, and establish housing stability as the primary purpose of federal low income housing policy.

NLIHC’s staff teams work together to achieve our advocacy goals. Our Research Team studies trends and analyzes data to create a picture of the need for low income housing across the country. Our Policy Team educates lawmakers about housing need and analyzes and shapes public policy. Our Field Teammobilizes members and supporters across the country to advocate for good housing policy. Our Communications Team shapes public opinion of low income housing issues. And our Administration Team works to ensure NLIHC remains a sustainable, high-capacity organization.


The Social Impact Research Center

For the State of does your county fare?

As we strive to make Illinois a place characterized by social justice and equity, it’s important to look at the dynamics of poverty and well-being not only at the state and national levels, but also locally. The County Well-Being Index highlights counties that are experiencing particularly negative conditions and trends on four key indicators: poverty, unemployment, teen births, and high school graduation.



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