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LaFayette Leader Summer 2020


LaFayette Leader Summer 2020 - COVER

LaFayette Leader Summer 2020 (From the CEO) - Page 2

FROM THE CEO

Sharon N. Tolbert, Chief Executive Officer

Sharon Tolbert CEO Headshot

I hope all are being safe and adjusting to what is often being referred to as the new normal due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The LaFayette Housing Authority (LHA) has modified its business operations as we navigate through unchartered territory as a result of COVID-19.

Effective April 6, the LHA closed its office to the general public and staff primarily worked remotely due to the Governor's Stay-at-Home Order that went into effect on April 4. The office closure was implemented in an effort to minimize the spread of the virus and to keep employees and the general public safe. 

Although most services in our area have reopened, the LHA is taking precautions before we resume our normal business operations. Plans are being developed to reopen; however, a definitive date is still unknown at this time due to the continued uncertainties of COVID-19. 

In this issue, we have outlined the steps that will be taken to ensure we continue to serve our families in a HUD-compliant manner. I do apologize for any inconvenience that our office closure may have caused but please be assured that LHA's primary focus is to provide safe, descent and sanitary housing to our families and we are here to serve you! I ask for your continued patience as we transition to our normal business operations, and again assure you of our ongoing commitment to provide service to our families as we strive to meet your housing needs.  

I want to commend our LHA staff for their hard work and dedication as we work through our unconventional office structure while complying with essential job functions.  I also want to thank our community partners that have assisted with providing services to our residents.

My heart goes out to families that may have been impacted by COVID-19. I ask that everyone continue to take precautions and comply with the Centers for Disease Control's guidelines due to the continued threat of the virus. 

Beginning in July, LHA will have Zoom meetings each month with residents and participants.  The meetings will provide a question and answer session with the CEO and staff. Details regarding the meetings are provided in the newsletter.   We are looking forward to hearing from you! 

For more information, please visit our website at www.auburnhousingauth.org and sign up for "News and More" to receive email and text notifications. Also, be sure to connect with us on social media!

Please stay safe,

Sharon N. Tolbert


LaFayette Leader Summer 2020 (Commissioner'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.

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Not Pictured:

Peggy King, Chairperson

Elton Holloway, Vice Chairperson

Felicia Holloway, Resident Commissioner

Mary Owens-Lyerly, Commissioner

LHA Commissioner Angelia Davis Angelia Davis, Commissioner

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Upcoming Meeting

Date: September 16, 2020

Time: 12:30 pm

Location: Zoom

The link will be posted prior to the Board meeting.

Please note, the meeting date and time are subject to change.


LaFayette Leader Summer 2020 (HR & News) - Page 4

Birthdays

Beth Redding - 1/6

Shay Blackmon - 1/26

Tim Wright - 2/5

Natasha Hall - 2/13

Kenneth Pitchford - 3/14

Star Snipe - 3/30

Richetta Stephens - 4/15

Sandra Sanders - 5/1

Laura Squiers - 6/17

Sylvia Impson - 6/20

Kelvin Whitlow - 6/23

Shannon Walters - 6/30

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Promotions

Carrie Smith - Interim Multi-Family Housing Director

AJ Harris - Interim Public Relations & Compliance Director

Laura Squiers - FSS Coordinator

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HERE TO SERVE YOU

CEO Sharon N. Tolbert with orange shirt Sharon Tolbert
CEO
Sandra HR and Executive Admin Sandra Sanders
Executive Admin. Asst/
Human Resources

Charlotte in orange shirt Resident Services

Charlotte Mattox
Resident Services
Coordinator

LHA multi family housing department

Multi-Family Housing Department 

From Left to Right: Mark Ellis (Regional Maintenance Mgr.), Kelvin Whitlow (Maintenance Mechanic), Carrie Smith (Interim Multi-Family Housing Director), Shannon Walters (Interim Regional Property Mgr.), Matt Robinson (Asst. Maintenance Mechanic), and AJ Harris (Interim Public Relations & Compliance Director)

LHA HCV Department

Housing Choice Voucher Department

From Left to Right: Star Snipe (HCV Director), Natasha Hall (HCV Caseworker), Laura Squiers (FSS Coordinator) Not Pictured: Shay Blackmon (HCV Receptionist)

LHA Finance Department

Finance Department

From Left to Right: Wendy Cochran (Finance Director), Sylvia Impson (Purchasing Clerk), Richetta Stephens (Procurement Specialist)


LaFayette Leader Summer 2020 - Page 5

Covid-19 Survey

LaFayette Housing Authority is requesting residents to complete a short survey. Questions in the survey are related to the impacts of the Coronavirus. Resident responses will be used internally by staff only to help determine the needs of residents.

Visit auburnhousingauth.org and click the survey link found in the blue section on our homepage.

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Census 2020

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 54.2% of Auburn residents have responded to the 2020 Census. If you haven't responded yet, head over to https://2020census.gov/ to respond today. The results 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 Alabama is counted!

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How to Prevent Mold and Mildew

1. Stop Filtration. Make sure water is directed away from your home.  If you notice any plumbing issues on the exterior of your apartment or any water leaks on the inside of your apartment, please notify your Property Manager and/or Maintenance Department as soon as possible to report the leak.

2. Keep your home clean and dry. Clean fabrics frequently and store them in a dry place when they are not in use.

3. Use Disinfectants. Did you know that 9 times out of 10 mildew is mistaken as mold?  Mildew accumulates on flat surfaces such as walls and ceilings in areas that have poor ventilation.  To clean "mildew" off ceilings or walls, use bleach and water.  Mix one cup of bleach to 1 gallon of water.

4. Properly Ventilate your home. If you do not have an exhaust or ventilation fan in your bathroom, you can simply raise the bathroom window after using the bathtub or shower to allow the moisture to escape from the room.  This will help prevent mildew from accumulating on the ceiling and walls.

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"Zooming with the CEO & Staff"

Join Auburn Housing Authority CEO Sharon Tolbert, Housing Choice Voucher Director Star Snipe, Interim Multi-Family Housing Director Carrie Smith, and Interim Public Relations and Compliance Director AJ Harris on a live Zoom Video call on July 22nd from 2-3 pm.

The purpose of this call is to provide time for questions and answers between staff and residents. All residents are invited to join in this call.

Meeting ID: 934 4891 1515

Dial IN: 1-301-715-8592

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Jobs

Looking for a job? Goodwill Industries of the Southern Rivers has compiled a comprehensive list of businesses hiring in our area.

View the list here: www.goodwillsr.org/work

Find the perfect job and apply!


LaFayette Leader Summer 2020 (Landlord Corner) - Page 6
AUTO-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.

ADDRESS CHANGE

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.

LEASE RENEWAL

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.

SAFE COMMUNITIES

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

HUD-VASH

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

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

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.

REPORTING CHANGES

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 Summer 2020 (Resident Corner) - Page 7

Resident Notice

The Auburn Housing Authority's (AHA) mission is to provide safe, descent and affordable housing for families. The AHA's Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program is funded by the federal government and AHA must comply with the Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) regulations and AHA's internal polices and procedures. AHA encourages families to comply with the following requirements to maintain their housing assistance.

a. Comply with your annual recertification requirements and submit the requested information by the deadline.

b. Report all changes in income and household composition.

c. Comply with your landlord's dwelling lease.

d. Comply with all written requests that are submitted by the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Department and forward the requested information by the deadline.

Not complying with the requirements above may result in the termination of your assistance or eviction. The list above is not all-inclusive.

If you have questions about your HCV assistance, please contact the HCV Department at (334) 821-2262.

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HCV Updates

Staff members are working remotely to process interim recertification's for loss of wages and income decreases in the order received. Delays may occur. Please continue to report these changes by emailing your respective Caseworker.

-Participants are not required to report stimulus funding to AHA.

-Extensions will be given to vouchers issued in March 2020. However, you must request an extension before your voucher expires. If you need an extension please send your request to nhall@auburnnhousingauth.org.

-RFTA's are still being accepted and processed. Please send completed RFTA's to nhall@auburnhousingauth.org.

-All transfer requests and vacate notices from current participants are being reviewed. HCV staff will contact participants and landlords to determine the next steps on a case-by-case basis.

-Issuance of new vouchers will resume. Briefings will be conducted via phone. An appointment letter will be sent to applicants with instructions.

-Landlords payments will continue to be processed without interruption.

-Initial move-in inspections are suspended until further notice. Until initial move-in inspections resume, Landlords are required to send an e-mail stating there are no health and safety violations until initial move-in inspections can be performed. Please note all initial inspections must be performed prior to October 31, 2020.

-Current participants are still required to report all household income and composition changes. Please send emails to the respective caseworker.

-Available units known to AHA are listed under the Locations tab at www.auburnhousingauth.org.

If you have any questions please contact the HCV Department at (334) 821-2262.

Nan Mckay (PBV Caseworker) - ahapbv@auburnhousingauth.org

Natasha Hall (HCV Caseworker) - nhall@auburnhousingauth.org

We are here to serve you.


LaFayette Leader Summer 2020 (Resident News) - Page 8
Rent Payment

LHA Rent: Rent is 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.  If rent is late 14 days, the resident may be in jeopardy of being evicted. Please pay your rent on time to eliminate late fees and possible eviction! Rent Payment Drop Box is available at the Jenkins Administrative Office Tuesday's from 9am-3pm until further notice.

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Rental Insurance
Residents are encouraged to obtain rental insurance. Rental insurance helps to protect your belongings after a covered loss.

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Maintenance
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
-Fire
-Loss of power - mechanical failure
-Broken water line
-Loose or falling ceiling
-No A/C (when the outside temperature is 90 degrees or above)

Please call to request a work order:

Routine/Emergency Work Orders:
(334) 864-8391

For Police and Fire Emergencies dial 911

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Smoking Policy
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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Covid-19 

If you leave home know your w's

-Wear Mask

-Wash Hands

-Wait 6ft. apart 

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Congratulations LHA Graduates!

Wishing you all the best in the next chapter of your life!.