LaFayette Leader Winter 2021
LaFayette Leader Winter 2021 - COVER
LaFayette Leader Winter 2021 - From the CEO
FROM THE CEO
Sharon N. Tolbert, Chief Executive Officer
Needless to say, 2020 has been a year to remember. My heart goes out to everyone that has been affected by the Coronavirus ("COVID-19") pandemic.
II would like to give a special thank you to the families that we serve for your continued patience as we navigate through our modified business operations due to the pandemic. I do apologize for the inconvenience our office closure may have caused. Although we are starting to see progress in the fight against COVID-19, the LaFayette Housing Authority ("LHA") will continue with Phase 2 of its Reopening Plan due to the continued threat of the Coronavirus and the Governor's Safer at Home order which has been extended through January 22, 2021, coupled with Alabama's state of emergency extended to March 8. Staff will be onsite during normal business hours; however, the office will be closed to the general public but we are accepting appointments.
As a result of COVID-19 waivers offered by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), there has been leniency in complying with various regulatory requirements including an eviction moratorium. Please keep in mind, HUD waivers and the eviction moratorium will be expiring soon. Although LHA's primary mission is to provide housing, we must also comply with HUD's regulatory requirements.
To secure your housing assistance, I encourage our residents to comply with recertification requirements, report changes in income and household composition as required, fulfill your dwelling lease obligations, pay rent and fees on time, check your mail regularly concerning time-sensitive correspondence regarding your assistance, and other applicable requirements.
Thank you to the LHA staff! Due to your hard work and dedication, the LHA has continued to provide safe, decent, and sanitary housing for its residents and participants. During 2020 LHA implemented various services to better serve our residents to include: online rent payment, virtual informational sessions with staff, free COVID-19 care packages and onsite testing, free flu shots, onsite voter registration, virtual resident training sessions, and more. In 2021, we are planning to offer additional services consisting of an online resident portal.
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 it has been said regarding COVID-19, "there's light at the end of the tunnel but we are still in the tunnel". As we all prepare for 2021, I ask that you please adhere to the CDC's guidelines in an effort to minimize the spread of COVID-19 and to flatten the curve. "We are in uncharted territory and we will all learn together".
It is my desire that you continue to find the LaFayette Leader to be a useful tool to communicate upcoming, news, events, and more. 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 Winter 2021 - 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.
Board of Commissioners
Peggy King, Chairperson
Elton Holloway, Vice Chairperson
Mary Owens-Lyerly, Commissioner
Angelia Davis, Commissioner
LHA Board Meeting
Date: March 16, 2021
Time: 12:30pm (CST)
Number: 1 312 626 6799
Meeting ID: 982 2540 9030
LaFayette Leader Winter 2021 - Board Recruitment
Interested in Shaping the Future of LaFayette Housing Authority?
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. The Commissioners are responsible for overseeing the fiscal management of the agency and is involved in reviewing and approving policies pertaining to the LHA.
Residents interested in serving on the LHA Board of Commissioners:
334-821-2262 ext. 237
LaFayette Leader Winter 2021 - HR & News
Welcome Dominique Moore, Property Manager III, she began employment with AHA on 11/17/20.
Wendy Cochran- 5 years
Gaetan Hamel- 10 years
2020 Annual Staff Meeting was held via Zoom on December 17, 2020.
Shay Blackmon - 1/26
Dominique Moore - 2/3
Natasha Hall - 2/13
Kenneth Pitchford - 3/14
Star Snipe - 3/30
AHA Maintenance Mechanic
To view the job description and apply, visit: auburnhousingauth.org/careers
LaFayette Leader Winter 2021 - IRS Notice
Treasury and IRS begin delivering second round of Economic Impact Payments to millions of Americans
IR-2020-280, December 29, 2020
WASHINGTON - Today, the Internal Revenue Service and the Treasury Department will begin delivering a second round of Economic Impact Payments as part of the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 to millions of Americans who received the first round of payments earlier this year.
The initial direct deposit payments may begin arriving as early as tonight for some and will continue into next week. Paper checks will begin to be mailed tomorrow, Wednesday, December 30.
The IRS emphasizes that there is no action required by eligible individuals to receive this second payment. Some Americans may see the direct deposit payments as pending or as provisional payments in their accounts before the official payment date of January 4, 2021. The IRS reminds taxpayers that the payments are automatic, and they should not contact their financial institutions or the IRS with payment timing questions.
As with the first round of payments under the CARES Act, most recipients will receive these payments by direct deposit. For Social Security and other beneficiaries who received the first round of payments via Direct Express, they will receive this second payment the same way.
Anyone who received the first round of payments earlier this year but doesn't receive a payment via direct deposit will generally receive a check or, in some instances, a debit card. For those in this category, the payments will conclude in January. If additional legislation is enacted to provide for an additional amount, the Economic Impact Payments that have been issued will be topped up as quickly as possible.
Eligible individuals who did not receive an Economic Impact Payment this year - either the first or the second payment - will be able to claim it when they file their 2020 taxes in 2021. The IRS urges taxpayers who didn't receive a payment this year to review the eligibility criteria when they file their 2020 taxes; many people, including recent college graduates, may be eligible to claim it. People will see the Economic Impact Payments (EIP) referred to as the Recovery Rebate Credit (RRC) on Form 1040 or Form 1040-SR since the EIPs are an advance payment of the RRC.
"Throughout this challenging year, the IRS has worked around the clock to provide Economic Impact Payments and critical taxpayer services to the American people," said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. "We are working swiftly to distribute this second round of payments as quickly as possible. This work continues throughout the holidays and into the new year as we prepare for the upcoming filing season. We urge everyone to visit IRS.gov in the coming days for the latest information on these payments and for important information and assistance with filing their 2021 taxes."
Authorized by the newly enacted COVID-relief legislation, the second round of payments, or "EIP 2," is generally $600 for singles and $1,200 for married couples filing a joint return. In addition, those with qualifying children will also receive $600 for each qualifying child. Dependents who are 17 and older are not eligible for the child payment.
LaFayette Leader Winter 2021 - Now Scheduling Appointments
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:
Housing Choice Voucher Department
Wednesdays 8 am -10 am
334-821-2262 ext. 212
Monday & Wednesdays 8 am to 1 pm
Tuesday & Thursdays 1 pm to 6 pm
PBV Case Worker
Nan McKay & Associates
Stay up to date on news and community resources by liking us on Facebook @AuburnHousing, Twitter Auburn_Housing, and visiting our website at auburnhousingauth.org.
Join us for a variety of classes this January directly from your phone, computer, or tablet! View the workshop schedule below and contact Resident Services Coordinator, Charlotte Mattox at 334-329-5010 for more information!
Christian Women's Job Corp
Time: Jan 20, 2021 - 1:30 PM
Join Zoom Meeting:
Meeting ID: 918 0757 2275
Scholarship Opportunities via Zoom
Time: Jan 26, 2021 - 4:30 PM
Join Zoom Meeting:
Meeting ID: 933 0363 0489
Things to Come
Covid-19 Supply Bags (January 2021) - Residents will receive a reusable bag filled with useful supplies during the Covid-19 Pandemic.
School Supply Give-A-Way (January 2021) - Staff will be out at Bus Stops to provide school-age residents with supplies they can use in school.
Food Pantry (February 2020) - Auburn Community Development Corporation is partnering with the City of Auburn Community Services Department to provide a Food Pantry inside the Boykin Community Center. The Food Pantry is tentatively scheduled to open in February 2021.
Resident Internet (Coming 2021) - The authority will supply residents with free internet access.
Compliance Cameras (Coming 2021) - The authority will install compliance cameras throughout each of the properties.
Dates Subject to Change.
LaFayette Leader Winter 2021 - Covid-19 Supply Bags
Covid-19 Supply Bags
Helping to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is one of our top priorities. Because of this, we have utilized some of our funding to provide our residents with Covid-19 supplies. Hand sanitizer and face masks are necessities these days and our residents continue to be grateful for the resources they are receiving. Residents and voucher participants can expect to receive more supplies during our January distribution.
LaFayette Leader Winter 2021 - Voter Registration
Our staff hosted multiple voter registration drives throughout our communities to register residents to vote and allow them to request absentee ballots, pick up sample ballots, and receive other voter information for the November election.
Allowing residents the opportunity to conduct these tasks onsite was not only beneficial but convenient. With the pandemic, we did require social distancing and masks to be worn, but the overall turnout was a success.
LaFayette Leader Winter 2021 - Start New Year Off Right
Top 5 Ways to Start the Year Off Right
Don't let the new year sneak up on you. Now is the perfect time to follow these 5 ways to start the year off right, and take charge of what you are getting out of life.
#1 Do a yearly review
Take stock of where you've been and appreciate all of the accomplishments you've made in the last year. In a typical yearly review, you should answer these types of questions:
What went well for me last year?
What accomplishments did I have?
How did I improve my life?
How did I improve my relationships?
What did I remove from my life that is now making me happier?
What do I wish I had taken more time for?
Keep track of these questions and your responses in a journal that you can refer back to in the future: your answers year over year will be very enlightening.
Ask these types of questions about all the important areas of your life, such as family, relationships, financial, career, home, etc. These questions will help you appreciate all you've accomplished in the previous year, and you can use this information to start the new year off right, and set better goals for the next year.
#2 Finish what you started
Which projects, errands, and general list of to-do items do you have left over from the previous year that you can complete in 2 hours or less? Do them now to clear your mind of the old items.
Keeping projects around like pets doesn't do us any good-they just weigh on our minds, and people will spend hours thinking about something that will only take 10 minutes to take care of. Cross those things off your list and give yourself a fresh start.
#3 Be realistic
Dreaming is fabulous and highly recommended, but if you want to accomplish some improvements in your life, you need to be realistic. As much as you may want something, it's very likely you don't really believe you can have it. (If you did you would already have achieved it.) We have to turn a dream into something we can picture accomplishing before it can become a reality.
Take your dream and start breaking it down into milestones: if you want to work from home, what are the steps you need to take? Break those steps down further so you can create a game-plan and start working towards accomplishing that dream.
#4 Focus on what you really want
Speaking of dreaming, ask yourself what your dream looks like. What are you doing in the dream? How are you living? Who is in the dream with you? What does a typical day entail?
These questions will help you define what lifestyle you really want, and give you ideas about how you can achieve that lifestyle. For example, if you see yourself relaxing by the fire with a good book and a cup of tea, ask yourself why you aren't spending more time that way now. What things are in your way and how can you re-arrange your priorities in order to have the lifestyle you really want?
If you think that what you want is more money, keep digging at that response. What would you do if you had endless amounts of money? Would you travel, volunteer, or live simply and quietly away from it all?
We often think that money is an end goal, when really we are just stuck in a rut, and we think we can't do or have what we really want unless we have more money. Challenge that idea and dig to find those things that you really want, and aim to pursue them now.
#5 Put yourself at the top of the list
Using the information you gained above by determining what you really want, put yourself at the top of the list this year. The old adage is true; we really can't help others until we help ourselves. Taking care of yourself and striving to reach your own goals will make you a better spouse, friend, child, and parent.
Our examples have a far greater impact on those around us than anything we might say, and taking care of your own health and well-being means you'll be around longer for your loved ones too! Be sure to make time for yourself each day to work toward your goals, or to attain the lifestyle you want. How will you start the year off right?
Article From: lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/start-the-year-off.html
LaFayette Leader Winter 2021 - Crossword Puzzle
LaFayette Leader Winter 2021 - Deborah Ray (RAB)
Get to know your Resident Advisory Board (LHA)
Q: What site do you live at?
Q: How many years have you been a resident?
A: 50+ years
Q: What do you like to do in your free time?
A: Talk on the phone, read my Bible, listen to music, and sign out loud.
Q: What's your favorite color?
Q: How would your friends describe you?
A: Outspoken, I tell it like it is
Q: What's your favorite TV Show?
A: Good Times and Fred Sanford Show
Q: What's your favorite singer?
A: Yolanda Adams
Q: What's your favorite meal/restaurant/food?
A: Hot wings, Rosehill Restaurant (Columbus, Ga)
Q: What is one interesting fact about yourself?
A: There's nothing they don't know about me.
Q: What's your favorite animal?
A: I don't have a favorite animal. Maybe a dog, but I wouldn't want one.
Q: Who would you want to play you in a movie of your life?
A: Viola Davis, Aunt Bam (Cassi Davis)
Q: What's your favorite movie?
A: Just Right, BABS, and It's a Wonderful Life
Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be?
A: Nowhere! I ain't traveling nowhere.
Q: What do you want residents to know about you as a RAB Member?
A: Everyone knows I am here for them, but I would like to encourage everyone to communicate their needs to the housing authority staff. They have provided multiple opportunities, and residents need to take advantage of them.
LaFayette Leader Winter 2021 - College Scholarships
2021 PHADA Scholarship
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. For More Information or to Apply Visit: phada.org
The Alabama Housing Authorities Education and Enrichment Fund (AHAEEF) Scholarship. Applicants must be a Public Housing/Section 8 resident (includes RAD PBV/PBRA). Stay up to date on this opportunity by visiting aahra.org/scholarships
2021 HAI Group Resident Scholarship
The 2021 HAI Group Resident Scholarship Program will be opening up for applications soon! Stay up to date on this opportunity by visiting housingcenter.com/scholarships
2021-2022 Hispanic Scholarship Fund Scholarship
The 2021-2022 Hispanic Scholarship Fund Scholarship application is now open! The deadline to apply is February 15th. For More Information or to Apply Visit: hsf.net/scholarship
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.
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.
LaFayette Leader Winter 2021 - We are social
We are social...
Stay updated on events, programs, and initiatives sponsored by The Auburn, LaFayette, and Roanoke Housing Authorities by liking, following, and engaging with us on social media. We're your key to Housing Opportunities!
Connect with us
Choose your favorite and like us for updates!
LaFayette Leader Winter 2021 - Landlord CornerAUTO-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.
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.
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.
LaFayette Leader Winter 2021 - Resident Corner
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.
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
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.
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 policies 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.
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
If you have questions about your assistance, you may contact NMA's Customer Service at (334) 456-3811 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com 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) - firstname.lastname@example.org
Natasha Hall (HCV Caseworker) - email@example.com
We are here to serve you.
LaFayette Leader Winter 2021 - Resident InfoRent 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.
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. 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
-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:
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.
Winter Fun Facts
1. The Earth is closest to the Sun during winter.
2. Winter increases your appetite. That's because, when it's cold, your body needs to work harder to keep your temperature at a comfortable level, which requires more energy to burn.
3. There are plenty of flowers that bloom in the winter. try growing winter pansies, lenten roses (which are also known as Christmas roses), winter aconite, and snowdrops.
4. Some cities use beet juice, beer waste, and pickle brine on icy winter roads instead of salt.
5. Snow can be yellow, orange, green, and purple. And there's also pink watermelon snow that has a sweet smell and taste.
LaFayette Leader Winter 2021 - Online Payments
Now Accepting Online Rent Payments!
Residents can now pay rent online using a debit/credit card. Rent payments made online will not incur any transaction fees.
AHA & LHA
To make online payments visit https://apps.auburnhousingauth.org
To make online payments visit https://rha.auburnhousingauth.org
Registration Instructions can be downloaded by clicking here. For additional assistance, contact AJ Harris at 334-821-2262 ext. 210