Lafayette Leader Winter 2020
Lafayette Leader Winter 2020 - Front Page
- Fall Recap
- Meet Your Staff
- Resident News
- Spring Cleaning
- Free Tax Prep
- Census 2020
Lafayette Leader Winter 2020 (From the CEO) - Page 2FROM THE CEO
Sharon N. Tolbert, Chief Executive Officer
It is my desire that you found the first edition of The LaFayette Leader Fall 2019 newsletter to be a useful tool to communicate upcoming events, news and more with our residents,
community partners and the public at large! The Winter 2020 edition reflects on events from the previous quarter and upcoming events.
We were busy during the last quarter but a lot was accomplished. In November 2019, the FYE2019 audit was completed for the LaFayette Housing Authority (LHA). Under the management of the Auburn Housing Authority (AHA), I am pleased to say there were no findings or concerns. In addition, LHA received a "High Performer" rating for its FYE2019 performance. It takes hard work and dedicated employees to continue to perform at this level. I want to express my sincere gratitude to all employees for your commitment and dedication to the success of the LHA.
I also want to thank the Board of Commissioners for your dedication to the LHA and entrusting me to serve as the CEO. Thank you for your time, support and commitment to the LHA organization! I truly appreciate your service to the LHA and the LaFayette community.
To all of our community partners, thank you for partnering with LHA as we strive to fulfill our mission to provide safe, decent, and sanitary housing conditions for individuals and families. Our objective is to provide personal, economic, and social upward mobility by offering individuals and families the opportunity to make the transition from subsidized to nonsubsidized housing.
I look forward to another great quarter! For more information, please visit our website at www.auburnhousingauth.org and sign up for "News and More" to receive email and text notifications. You may also follow AHA on Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin!
Sharon N. Tolbert
Lafayette Leader Winter 2020 (Comissioner's Corner) - Page 3
LHA is governed by a five-member Board of Commissioners, representing a cross-section of the community and appointed by the Mayor of the City of LaFayette. One member must be a resident of an LHA property or program.
The Commissioners are responsible for overseeing the fiscal management of the agency and approving policies.
Board meetings are held at noon on the third Wednesday in March, June, September, and December. The meeting is held at the LHA's Administrative Office located at 301 First Avenue S.W. The meeting date is subject to change.
CURRENT BOARD MEMBERS
Peggy King, Chairperson
Elton Holloway, Vice-Chairperson
Angelia Davis, Commissioner
Mary Owens-Lyerly, Commissioner
Amanda Toles, Resident Commissioner
Lafayette Leader Winter 2020 (Human Resources & News) - Page 4
HUMAN RESOURCES & NEWS
New AHA Employees
DeWana (Shay) Blackmon
Sandra Sanders and Kelvin Whitlow were recognized during AHA' Annual Christmas in December 2019 for their loyal and dedicated service.
25 years of service
5 years of service
HERE TO SERVE YOU
Executive Admin. Asst/
MULTIFAMILY HOUSING DEPARTMENT (LHA SITE)
From left to right: Mark Ellis (Regional Maintenance Mgr.), Kelvin Whitlow (Maintenance Mechanic), Carrie Smith (Regional Property Mgr.), Shannon Walters (Interim Regional Property Mgr.), Matt Robinson (Asst. Maintenance Mechanic), and AJ Harris (Director of Property Operations)
HOUSING CHOICE VOUCHER DEPARTMENT
From Left to Right: Star Snipe (HCV Director), Natasha Hall (HCV
Caseworker), Laura Squiers (HCV Caseworker)
From Left to Right: Wendy Cochran (Finance Director), Sylvia Impson
(Purchasing Clerk), Richetta Stephens (Procurement Specialist)
Lafayette Leader Winter 2020 (Census 2020) - Page 5
The results of the 2020 Census will help determine each state's representation in Congress, as well as how certain funds are spent for schools, hospitals, roads, and more. This is your chance to play a part in history and help ensure that everyone in your community is counted!
Be A Census Taker!
Are you looking for the perfect opportunity to earn some extra income while helping your community? This is your chance
to play a part in history and help ensure that everyone in your
community is counted!
To be eligible for a 2020 Census job, you must:
-Be at least 18 years old.
-Be a U.S. citizen.
-Commit to completing the training.
-Be available to work flexible hours, which can include days,
evenings, and/or weekends.
Interested in learning more or applying? Visit 2020census.gov/jobs
Lafayette Leader Winter 2020 (Employee Christmas) Page 6EMPLOYEE CHRISTMAS LUNCHEON GALLERY
Our employees came together prior to the holidays to enjoy good food, express appreciation, and engage in a lot of laughs! See the full album on our Facebook pages and at www.auburnhousingauth.org
Lafayette Leader Winter 2020 (Senior Luncheon) Page 7Senior Holiday Luncheon
We had a great time at our Senior Citizen's Holiday Luncheon. Our residents and staff enjoyed delicious food and great conversation!
See the full album on our Facebook pages and at www.auburnhousingauth.org
Lafayette Leader Winter 2020 (Scholarships) Page 8Scholarship Opportunities
The 2020 HAI Group Resident Scholarship Program is open for submissions! This year, 20 people will win scholarships valued at $6,000 each! Residents submit your completed entry form by Thursday, April 30, 2020. Completed entries will be placed into a drawing to be held on or about Monday, May 4, 2020.
Applications are being accepted for The Alabama Housing Authorities Education and Enrichment Fund (AHAEEF) Scholarship. Applicants must be a Public Housing/Section 8 resident (includes RAD PBV/PBRA). Application deadline March 23, 2020.
The 2020-2021 Hispanic Scholarship Fund Scholarship application is now open! High school seniors of Hispanic heritage can earn $500 to
Visit www.auburnhousingauth.org/scholarships for more information or to apply
FREE TAX PREP
SaveFirst has partnered with Auburn University to offer tax preparation services now through March 5 at the Boykin Community Center. Tax preparation by IRS certified volunteers is free for households earning up to $56,000.To take advantage of the services, taxpayers can make an appointment by calling 1-888-99-TAX-AL or visiting impactamerica.com/freetaxprep.
The Boykin Community Center is located at 400 Boykin St., Auburn, AL.
Does your household earn less than $56,000 annually? If so, you qualify to have your taxes prepared and filed for FREE! Stop by the Goodwill Career Center and let them help you maximize your tax return. For more information visit goodwillsr.org/VITA/
Lafayette Leader Winter 2020 (Landlord Corner) Page 9AUTO-RESCHEDULING
A friendly reminder that McCright Inspection Company will automatically schedule a re-inspection for failed HQS inspections. Please review the letters for important information about dates
and adverse actions taken for noncompliance.
If you move, remember to report your new address to our office in writing. Also, report changes in anticipated changes of ownership as soon as possible. You must advise us before you sell the property rented to a voucher holder. There is paperwork that must be done to adjust ownership and rental assistance.
Landlords: If you are entering into a new lease at the annual renewal, you must provide a copy of the new proposed lease prior to the tenant signing the lease. If you have questions about the program, don't guess, please call the Housing Choice Voucher Office Program (HCVP) at (334) 821-2262. Thank you for partnering with
Auburn Housing Authority (AHA) to provide decent, safe, and sanitary
housing for low-income families.
Do you know what to do if you suspect fraud or criminal activity occurring at an HCVP assisted home? You can do your part to help keep your community safe by using the link below to report
fraudulent or criminal activity. www.auburnhousingauth.org/contact
The AHA has 18 VASH vouchers to house homeless veterans in Lee County. The HUD-VASH program combines Housing Choice Voucher rental assistance for homeless veterans with case management and clinical services provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs
(VA). VA provides these services for participating Veterans at VA medical centers and community-based outreach clinics. If you know of any homeless veterans that could utilize this program contact Lejasmine Gary at Lejasmine.Gary@va.gov
Did you know? The HCVP has housing preferences for Homeless families and Victims of Domestic Violence. If you are being assisted by or receiving assistance from a Homeless shelter and/or are a victim of Domestic Violence you may qualify for additional points to be housed. The agency that is assisting you would only need to provide a letter verifying your need on their letterhead with a signature stating that you are being assisted by their agency. The letter needs to be faxed, mailed, or hand delivered by that agency to the HCVP office.
Participants of the HCV Program are required to submit all changes in writing with 10 calendar days. These changes may include loss of employment, new employment, updated phone numbers and emails and change in student status. Landlords who are aware of an unauthorized individual residing in the home should contact the HCVP
Department immediately. Updating household information is vital to keeping your HCVP participation in good standing. The voucher size is
based on household composition. Families receive deductions for dependents. It is very important to keep this updated.
Lafayette Leader Winter 2020 (Property Management) Page 105 Ways to Rebound from Holiday Spending
-First, keep in mind that you are not alone.
-Second, take an honest assessment of the damage and talk to a trusted family member, friend or debt counselor about your concern.
-Third, if you are able, return any gifts you have bought or received for a refund or, at least, store credit to be used at a better time.
-Fourth, immediately figure out a debt repayment plan, develop a budget for the coming months and stick to it. Confide in a trusted family member or friend who can hold you accountable.
-Fifth, don't be too proud to ask for help emotionally or financially if you're so tapped out you're having trouble making ends meet. Although nobody should enable an over spender, you might find support if you are serious about owning up and breaking the cycle. This includes calling the credit card companies to negotiate a more favorable debt repayment plan, making serious changes to your habits and maybe selling things or dipping into savings.
SPRING CLEANING REMINDERS
We are getting ready to go through our annual HQS (Housing Quality Standard) Inspections and the more we can remind tenants to clean up, call us if they have items that need to be repaired, items not working in their apartment, the better. It is the responsibility of the family to give the inspector access to the unit. If the Head of Household (HOH) is not present, the HOH may designate someone else to be present to give the inspector access. However, the designated person must be 18 (yrs.) or older.
For any family caused deficiencies discovered the family is responsible to have those deficiencies fixed. Failing to give the inspector access to the unit or failure to fix family caused deficiencies are violations of the family obligations for TBV and responsibilities for PBV.
Lafayette Leader Winter 2020 (Bed Bugs and Prevention) Page 11
Bed Bugs and Prevention
"BED BUGS ARE HARDY INSECTS: THEY ARE ABLE TO SURVIVE WITHOUT FEEDING FOR A YEAR".
When fighting, it is good to know your enemy. Bed bugs are reddish-brown, flattened, oval and wingless. They feed exclusively on warm-blooded animals-like humans. Bed bugs are hardy insects: They are able to survive without feeding for a year. In humans, bed bugs bites may cause skin rashes, psychological effects and allergic symptoms.
Rental premises may become infested with bed bugs in a variety of ways, including entering the premises on pets, clothing, luggage, furniture, or wild animals such as rodents, bats or birds; arriving via duct work or other routes from nearby dwellings. "Bed bugs" earned their name thanks to their proclivity for living in mattresses, box springs and bed frames. For this reason, references to bed bugs are a common nighttime adage: "Sleep tight; don't let the bed bugs bite!"
Nevertheless, bed bugs are not limited to bed-rooms and may live anywhere in a home, including furniture, curtains and wallpaper. Frustratingly, bed bugs are known to be elusive and nocturnal. They are best detected by their bites as well as fecal spots and blood smears on bedsheets.
Lease terms can require tenants to report sightings of bedbugs. A quick response may help limit the infestation. The lease can also include requirements that tenants' mattresses and box springs be synthetically encased-to help prevent bedbug infestation. The lease can also specify that the tenant is obligated to allow entry to pest control exterminators and to cooperate fully in eradicating any pest infestations. Building maintenance staff can be trained to recognize
bedbugs and signs of bedbug infestations. Early detection is best!
Getting rid of bedbugs begins with cleaning up the places where bedbugs live. This should include the following:
Clean bedding, linens, curtains, and clothing in hot water and dry them on the highest dryer setting. Place stuffed animals, shoes, and other items that can't be washed in the dryer and run on high for 30 minutes.
Vacuum your bed and surrounding area frequently. After vacuuming, immediately place the vacuum cleaner bag in a plastic bag and place in garbage can outdoors.
Encase mattress and box springs with a tightly woven, zippered cover to keep bedbugs from entering or escaping. Bedbugs may live up to a year without feeding, so keep the cover on your mattress for at least a year to make sure all bugs in the mattress are dead. Repair cracks in plaster and glue down peeling wallpaper to get rid of places bedbugs can hide. Get rid of clutter around the bed.
Lafayette Leader Winter 2020 (Resident Info) Page 12Rent Payment
Rent and service fees are due the 1st of each month, late after the 6th. If the last day to pay rent falls upon a day the Authority is closed
(weekend or holiday) then residents have the next business day to pay rent. The late fee is $40.00 per month. Please pay your rent on time to eliminate late fees and possible eviction!
Residents are encouraged to obtain rental insurance. Rental insurance helps to protect your belongings after a covered loss.
An emergency work order will be completed and mitigated within twenty-four (24) hours. If a situation is determined to not be an emergency, the resident will be informed that the request will be considered as "any other resident work order request". Normal
work orders will be resolved within 3 business days. Examples of a work order emergency are:
-Broken exterior door lock
-Loss of power - mechanical failure
-Broken water line
-Loose or falling ceiling
-No Heat (when the outside temperature is less than 35 degrees)
Please call to request a work order:
Routine/Emergency Work Orders:
For Police and Fire Emergencies dial 911
Smoking is NOT permitted inside the unit. See the Smoke-Free Policy that's included as an addendum to your lease for more information.
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LHA Public Hearing Notice
A Public Hearing will be held on March 10, 2020 at 3:00 PM to receive public comments regarding the proposed Five-Year Plans and Annual Plan. The Hearing will be held at the
Lafayette Housing Authority located at 301 1st Avenue, Lafayette, AL 36862.
LHA Staff Spring Cleaning
LHA staff will be out during March and April picking up trash around the properties. You are invited to come out and meet LHA staff and assist in cleanup. Dates and times will be announced at a later date.