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LaFayette Leader Fall 2020


LaFayette Leader Fall 2020 - COVER

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

FROM THE CEO

Sharon N. Tolbert, Chief Executive Officer

AHA CEO Sharon Tolbert Headshot

Goodbye Summer, hello Fall! I hope all are being safe and continuing to adjust as we all navigate through the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The Fall 2020 edition of the LaFayette Leader reflect on events from the previous quarter and upcoming events.

The COVID-19 Reopening Plan ("Plan") was implemented on June 30, 2020. The Plan is intended to implement a thorough, thoughtful, and methodical approach to reopening the LaFayette Housing Authority (LHA) to staff, clients and the general public as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Plan outlines the following reopening phases.

Phase One: Assessment/Evaluation

  • Administrative staff primarily works remotely.
  • Maintenance staff completes emergency work orders and work in vacant units.
  • Closed to the public.

Phase Two: Partial Return (Current)

  • Administrative staff to alternate between working onsite and remotely.
  • Maintenance staff completes emergency work orders and work in vacant units.
  • Office open by appointment only.

Phase Three: New Normal

  • All staff returns to normal work schedule while abiding by the Centers for Disease Control's (CDC) recommendations.
  • Work order restriction lifted. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) still required.
  • Office opened, but appointments encouraged. Offices will be modified to adhere to CDC recommendations.

Due to the downward trend of COVID-19 cases in Chambers county, LHA transitioned to Phase Two beginning September 14, 2020.

In an effort to better serve our families and to alleviate the administrative burden on staff, the LHA will be implementing various virtual services to include but not limited to online rent payment, electronic lease execution and renewal, online recertification, and virtual resident meetings and workshops. We anticipate implementing virtual services by November 1, 2020; however, the date is subject to change.

I want to thank the LHA's Board of Commissioners for their continued support and dedication. Special thank you to all of our community partners that have assisted with providing services to our residents. As always, I have to commend our staff for their hard work and dedication as we strive to meet the housing needs of our families.

As we enjoy the cool and crisp weather that comes with the Fall season, I ask that you please adhere to the CDC's guideline in an effort to minimize the spread of COVID-19.

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 Fall 2020 (Commissioner's Corner) - Page 3

Commissioner's Corner

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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Board of Commissioners

Peggy King, Chairperson

Elton Holloway, Vice Chairperson

Mary Owens-Lyerly, Commissioner

Angelia Davis, Commissioner

Amanda James, Resident Commissioner*

*The LHA would like to welcome Ms. Amanda James to its Board of Commissioners. Ms. James' term began on June 8, 2020.

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Upcoming Meetings

LHA Board Meeting

Date: March 17, 2021

Time: 5:30pm (CST)

Location: Zoom

Number: 1 312 626 6799

Meeting ID: 982 2540 9030

Passcode: 105854


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

We are here to serve you

LHA Staff

Birthdays

Carrie Smith

July 19th

 

Wendy Cochran

August 4th

 

Charlotte Mattox

August 5th

 

Bonnie Morgan

August 28th

 

Matt Robinson

September 3rd

 

Harvey Maddox

September 29th

Greg Moore

October 7th

 

Gate Hamel

October 16th

 

Demetrius Parhams

October 19th

 

Sharon Tolbert

November 15th

 

Dennis Cannon

November 20th

 

AJ Harris

November 22nd


LaFayette Leader Fall 2020 (Appointments) - Page 5
LHA Now Scheduling Appointment Information
 
Now Scheduling Appointments!

Due to the ongoing effort to limit the spread of COVID-19 we will be seeing residents by appointment only. Walk-ins are not permitted.

To schedule an appointment:

LHA

Housing Choice Voucher Department

334-734-7191

Wednesdays - 8 am to 10 am

Property Management 

334-821-2262 ext. 212

Mondays & Wednesdays 8 am to 1 pm

Tuesdays & Thursdays 1 pm to 6 pm

PBV Case Worker

Nan McKay & Associates

334-456-3811


LaFayette Leader Fall 2020 (Vote & Covid Testing) - Page 6

Are you registered to vote?

Alabama! Are you registered to vote? Do you have a plan to vote in this election? Know your deadlines, register, and make a plan to vote!

Important Alabama Election Dates and Deadlines:

Election Day is Tuesday, November 3, 2020.

Register to Vote Deadlines:

Online: Oct. 19 by 11:59 p.m.

By mail: Postmarked by Oct. 19

In-person: Oct. 19 by close of business

Alabama does not offer an early voting period. If you will be unable to vote in person on Election Day, you can request an absentee ballot by mail or by visiting your local election office.

Absentee Ballot Deadlines:

Request: Oct. 29 by close of business

Return by Mail: Postmarked by Nov. 2

Return in person: Nov. 2 by 5:00 p.m.

Register to vote, update your registration or locate your polling by visiting this link: alabamavotes.gov 

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Covid-19 

If you leave home know your w's

-Wear Mask

-Wash Hands

-Wait 6ft. apart 

Free Covid-19 Testing for All Residents

October 27th & 28th

Please register by contacting Residents Services Coordinator Charlotte Mattox at 334-821-2262 ext. 230 or via e-mail at cmattox@auburnhousingauth.org by October 19th.

Testing to be conducted by Main Street Family Care.


LaFayette Leader Fall 2020 (Resident Info) - Page 7

2020 Census

Why does the census matter to Alabama? It determines funding for many programs that impact you, your family, your schools, and your community. Here are just a few:

Health care programs, including Medicaid

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

Head Start

Pell Grants and Student Loans

Highway Planning and Construction

Community Development Block Grants

The US Census Bureau announced counting will end October 15 after a Supreme Court ruling allowing an early deadline.

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FREE Internet Service

Alabama Broadband Connectivity (ABC) for Students, will provide vouchers for families of students currently eligible for free and reduced-price school meals, or other income criteria.

The vouchers will help cover equipment and service costs for high-speed internet service from the fall through Dec. 31, 2020.

Visit the link below for access to the Internet voucher application abcstudents.org.

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SCORE

The City of Auburn and the Auburn Chamber of Commerce have worked closely to bring the nation's largest network of volunteer, expert business mentors to East Alabama. The organization, SCORE, is a nonprofit that provides free, confidential advice to small businesses. They host local and national mentorship networks; offer small businesses educational resources, webinars and workshops; and provide an outreach opportunity for experienced professionals to volunteer.

For more information about SCORE, visit score.org/2020-media-faqs

Questions regarding SCORE Columbus may be directed to Marv Lieberman at 706-464-8548.

-Auburn News

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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: https://www.goodwillsr.org/work

Find the perfect job for you and apply!


LaFayette Leader Fall 2020 (Apples) -Page 8

Apples, Apples, Apples!

Food Bank of East Alabama Apple donation

We appreciate the recent donation of apples from the Food Bank of East Alabama. These apples will be a source of healthy nutrition for the families we serve.

Did You Know that Eating Apples Can Help:

  • Aid in Weight Loss
  • Lower Risk of Heart Disease
  • Lower Risk of Diabetes
  • Prevent Cancer
  • Keep Alzheimer's Away
  • Reduce Cholesterol
  • Fight Asthma
  • Promote Good Bone Health
  • Beat Diarrhea and Constipation
  • Prevent Stomach Injury
  • Detoxify your liver
  • Protect Your Brain

These health benefits are sure to have you eating more apples!


LaFayette Leader Fall 2020 (Trash Pick Up) -Page 9

Take Pride in Where You Live!

Here are a few reminders of how you are REQUIRED to do your part to keep YOUR community clean:

  • Properly dispose of your trash items. Place them in your assigned trash can.
  • Do not allow trash items to accumulate on your porch or yard area.
  • Remove inoperable vehicles from the site.
  • Do not drive or park on the grass areas. Doing so will result in a lease violation and fines leading up to lease termination/eviction.
  • Properly store bicycles and toys so that they are not scattered.
  • Place large items such as old sofas, mattresses, etc. by the dumpster or curb ONE day prior to your regularly scheduled pick up day.
  • Your trash pick-up day is every Wednesday.
  • Position your trash can on the curbside for pick-up so that it is not blocked by vehicles and can be emptied.
  • After trash pick-up, place your trash can behind your apartment building.

All rules and policies listed above are in your Apartment Exterior and Grounds Keeping Policy and will be strictly enforced. Failure to comply will result in lease violations, fines, and possible lease termination.

Thank you in advance for doing your part to keep your community clean. If you have any questions, please call, 334-821-2262 ext. 242.

Pick It Up.

Toss It!


LaFayette Leader Fall 2020 (Distance Learning) - Page 10

PARENT TIPS FOR DISTANCE LEARNING SUCCESS

1. UNDERSTAND YOUR ROLE

Play a support role. You're not expected to take the place of the school teachers.

2. MAKE SPACE FOR LEARNING

Your children will achieve their best work in a quiet, comfortable, and dedicated space devoted to learning.

3. SET CLEAR EXPECTATIONS

Build time into the day to assist with your child's learning.

4. ENCOURAGE READING

When in doubt, have your children read. If you have time, read with them.

5. PLAN YOUR WORK & WORK YOUR PLAN

Good planning can relieve stress for both children and parents.

6. SHOW EMPATHY

Allow yourself, your children and their teachers some latitude and grace during these unprecedented times.

7. USE SUPPLEMENTAL RESOURCES

Utilize all available resources to enhance independent learning.

8. DON'T FORGET TO HAVE FUN

Turn all this extra time at home into an opportunity for bonding.

9. TAKE REGULAR DIGITAL RECESSES

Make sure your children take plenty of breaks from computers in order to get time away from screens.

10. ASK FOR HELP

Remember that you're not alone in this journey. You can reach out to family, friends, neighbors and your child's school.

 

"Behind every young child who believes in himself is a parent who believed first." - Matthew Jacobson


LaFayette Leader Fall 2020 (College) -Page 11

College Just AHEAD!

Article taken from alabamapossible.org

College-bound students can visit fafsa.gov to complete their free application for scholarships, grants, work study jobs, and loans for the 2021-22 school year. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid, commonly known as the FAFSA, gives students access to the largest source of financial aid for certificates or degrees, whether at two-year or four-year programs. Completing this application is a key step in the college application process.

The FAFSA opened October 1st and students planning to begin or continue their college education should complete the application as soon as possible for the 2021-22 school year. Students looking for assistance with college planning, including financial aid, can contact the Alabama Goes to College Help Desk at 334-316-6155 or @algoes2college on social media.

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High school seniors who are housing residents or Section 8 participants, and who are preparing to enter college, are invited to apply for the 2021 PHADA Scholarship Program.

For More Information or to Apply Visit: phada.org

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Alabama College Application Campaign Week is October 19-23. During this week, many colleges and universities around the state waive their college application fees. Recognizing that 65 percent of jobs require postsecondary education and training.

alabamapossible.org


LaFayette Leader Fall 2020 (Landlord Corner) - Page 12
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 Fall 2020 (Landlord & Resident) -Page 13

Disaster Helpline

The Disaster Distress Helpline, 1-800-985-5990, is a 24/7, 365-day-a-year, national hotline dedicated to providing immediate crisis counseling for people who are experiencing emotional distress related to any natural or human-caused disaster.

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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

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Resident Corner

New Applicants

New FSS Coordinator & FSS Program seeking New Applicants. Letters have been recently sent out to current participants on the FSS Program introducing the new FSS Coordinator, Laura Squiers. If you did not receive a letter or have any questions, please contact the FSS Coordinator at 334-821-2262 ext. 224.

In addition, we are also soliciting requests for new applicants to be added to the FSS Program waiting list. Please contact the number above if you are interested in this program.

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Free Credit Reports

Get One FREE Credit Report WEEKLY! Through the COVID-19 Aid CARES Act, each person is now able to get one free credit report PER WEEK from EACH of the three credit bureaus (Experian, TransUnion, Equifax) through annualcredit-report.com, enabling you to check your reports for accuracy and identity theft.

To learn more about protecting your finances, visit: consumerfinance.gov

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Health Centers

Are you in need of a care provider? Residents can find a Health Center through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Health Resources and Services Administration via findahealthcenter.hrsa.gov.

These Health centers are community-based and patient-directed organizations that deliver high-quality primary health care services.


LaFayette Leader Fall 2020 (Resident Corner) -Page 14

Resident Notice

The LaFayette Housing Authority's (LHA) mission is to provide safe, decent and affordable housing for families. The LHA's Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program is funded by the federal government and LHA must comply with the Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) regulations and LHA's internal polices and procedures. LHA 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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Project-Based Vouchers Case Management

Effective July 2020, Nan McKay and Associates (NMA) was hired to provide case management services for Auburn Housing Authority's Projects-Based Voucher (PBV) Program. NMA provides case management services for families that reside in the following communities:

LaFayette Housing Authority

  • Jenkins
  • Green-Stephens
  • Hilltop

If you have questions about your assistance, you may contact NMA's Customer Service at (334) 456-3811 or ahapbv@auburnhousingauth.org.

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HCV Updates

Staff members are working remotely and in office 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 LHA.

-Extensions will be given to vouchers issued in March 2020. However, you must request an extension before your voucher expires. Please contact nhall@auburnhousingauth.org with questions concerning your Tenant Base Voucher(TBV).

-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.

-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 Fall 2020 (Coming Down the Pipeline) - Page 15

Moving to Work (MTW) Program

The Auburn Housing Authority (AHA) has been selected to participate in the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) cohort #1 of the Moving to Work expansion. This notification represents our intent to participate in the MTW demonstration and of our desire to receive public input on the plan development. Participation in the MTW expansion will allow AHA to develop local policies to enhance our resident/participant's self-sufficiency outcomes, improve access and availability of housing, and implement evidence base strategies that promote program efficiency and efficacy. We are excited for this opportunity. AHA has scheduled two resident/participant information and input meetings to be held by phone. Meetings are open to all Housing Choice Voucher program participants, participating in the TBV and PBV programs. The meetings will be held on the following dates.

October 5 and October 12th at 4:00 PM

Meeting Access code: 2046326

To provide input at these meetings, please call 1-701-802-5053

Enter Meeting Access code when prompted.

A public comment meeting on the draft plan is also scheduled for November 9 at 4:00 PM on the same number provided above. We will post publicly as additional opportunities become available. We will also be connecting with our community partners as plans develop. If you have any questions concerning the MTW expansion, please contact Star Snipe, HCV Director at 334-821-2262 ext. 221 or spaschal@auburnhousinguath.org.

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Foster Youth to Independence (FYI) Initiative

HUD announced the Foster Youth to Independence (FYI) initiative, through the

issuance of Notice PIH 2019-20. Public Housing Agencies (PHAs) partnering with Public Child Welfare Agencies (PCWAs) may request Housing Choice Vouchers (HCVs) in the form of Tenant Protection Vouchers (TPVs) to assist eligible youth for a period of 36 months, subject to availability. Eligible youth must meet the following conditions:

1. Has attained at least 18 years and not more than 24 years of age;

2. Left foster care, or will leave foster care within 90 days, in accordance with a transition plan described in section 475(5)(H) of the Social Security Act at age 16 or older; and

3. Is homeless or is at risk of becoming homeless. Eligibility is not limited to single persons. For example, pregnant and/or parenting youth are eligible to receive assistance under this notice assuming they otherwise meet eligibility requirements.

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Things to Come:

Resident Supply Bags (November 2020)

School Supply Give-Away (November 2020)

Food Pantry (November 2020)

Online Payments (November 2020)

Online Certifications (November 2020)

Free Resident Internet (January 2021)

Compliance Cameras (Coming 2021)

Dates Subject to Change.

 


LaFayette Leader Fall 2020 (Resident News) -Page 16
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.

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.  Emergency Work Orders are when the situation constitutes a serious threat to the life, safety or health of resident(s) or staff; or the situation will cause serious damage to the property, property structure or systems if not repaired within twenty-four (24) hours. 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)

-No Heat (when the outside temperature is less than 35 degrees)

 

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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Autumn Fun Facts!

1. Autumn is the transition season between summer and winter, best noticed by the leaves color change and the harvest.

2. Autumn begins when the center of the sun crosses Earth's equator. As Earth continues it path around the sun, days become shorter and nights longer.

3. No film with autumn in its title has won an Oscar. Spring, summer and winter have one each.

4. Since 1997, Autumn has been one of the top 100 names for girls in the U.S.

5. A study in the Journal of Aging Research found that babies born during the Autumn months are more likely to live to 100 than those born during the rest of the year.

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LHA Zooming with the CEO Dates

"Zooming with the CEO & Staff" - 
The purpose of this call is to provide time for questions and answers between staff and residents. For more information contact AJ Harris by phone at 334-821-2262 ext. 242 or by e-mail at ajharris@auburnhousingauth.org.
 
Zoom Meeting ID: 934 4891 1515
Dial IN: 1-301-715-8592
Link: https://zoom.us/j/93448911515