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Roanoke Rising Winter 2023


Roanoke Rising Winter 2023 - Cover

Roanoke Rising

Winter 2023

Newsletter Printer Version (.pdf)

Roanoke Rising Winter 2023 Newsletter Cover


Roanoke Rising Winter 2023 - CEO

Sharon Tolbert CEO Auburn Housing Authority professional Headshot

Sharon N. Tolbert, Chief Executive Officer

Welcome to the Winter 2023 edition of the Roanoke Rising! I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Fall 2022 was fun, festive, and busy for our team! During the Thanksgiving holidays, the Roanoke Housing Authority partnered with the Auburn Community Development Corporation ("ACDC") and East Alabama Food Bank to host an onsite Farmer's Market on November 16, 2022; 62 families were served. The Christmas Farmer's Market was held on December 21, 2022; 57 families were served. Thank you to ACDC and the Food Bank for your continued support.

During the last quarter, our team was busy preparing for the FYE2022 audit. I want to commend our team for a successful audit and their hard work and dedication throughout the fiscal year. After the audit, our team and the Board of Commissioners had our first Iron Bowl Tailgate and enjoyed food, games, and fellowship.

To close out 2022, Commissioners, staff, and guests attended our Annual Christmas Luncheon on December 15th. We reflected on 2022 accomplishments, shared a delicious meal, recognized Commissioner and staff anniversaries and accomplishments, shared laughter during "Dirty Santa", and much more!

We anticipate 2023 to be as eventful as 2022, but our team is up for the challenge. During Winter 2023, our team will work diligently to increase occupancy rates, complete work orders timely, continue weekly site assessments, and the FYE2022 audit will be submitted to HUD for review and approval. Other departmental goals and objectives will be implemented as well.

As always, I want to thank the Board for entrusting me to continue to serve as the CEO of the Roanoke Housing Authority. Thank you to our community partners for your contributions as we strive to provide valuable services and resources to our families.

I hope that you find the Winter 2023 Roanoke Rising edition 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!

Wishing everyone a safe, healthy, and prosperous 2023! "Please take care of yourself and each other."

Bountiful Blessings,

Sharon N. Tolbert


Roanoke Rising Winter 2023 - Commissioner's Corner

RHA 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 Roanoke. One member must be a resident of an RHA property or program.

The Commissioners are responsible for overseeing the fiscal management of the agency and approving policies.

The board meetings are held at 5:30 pm on the 2nd Thursday in March, June, September, and December. The meeting date is subject to change.

Paula Lambert Chairperson Headshot Paula Lambert, Chairperson
Sarah Nunn Vice Chairperson Headshot Sarah Nunn, Vice-Chairperson & Resident Commissioner
Robert Joiner Commissioner RHA Robert Alton Joiner, Commissioner
Patrice Awbrey RHA Commissioner Patrice Awbrey, Commissioner

 

Scot Thomason Commissioner Scot Thomason, Commissioner

 

RHA Board Meetings

Date: 2nd Thursday in March, June, September, and December
Time: 5:30 pm (CST)

Location: RHA Administrative Office
201 Avenue A, Roanoke, AL.

The date, time, and location are subject to change.

 

Board Updates

During the last quarter, the Board approved not to move forward with converting RHA's public housing units to RAD PBRA due to the delay to close the RAD transaction coupled with increased cost to close. Further, the RHA's funding from HUD has increased during the last couple years and it seems the best option at this time is to continue to manage RHA's housing portfolio as public housing.

Commissioners met with the Roanoke Police Department to discuss security concerns at RHA sites. Thank you to Commissioners that took time out of your busy schedule to attend the meeting. Your concern for our residents is truly appreciated.

Thank you to all Commissioners for your loyal and dedicated service to the RHA! Special thank you to Commissioner Joiner for attending the Christmas Luncheon December 15th and Commissioner Nunn for volunteering during the holiday Farmer's Market events.

Commissioner Joiner with Sharon Tolbert at Christmas tree 

Sarah Nunn Commissioner volunteering


Roanoke Rising Winter 2023 - HR News

New Team Member

 

Todd James New Employee Headshot

Todd James

HCV Caseworker ll - PBV (10.24.22)

Transfers

Richetta Stephens Business Activity Specialist Headshot Richetta Stephens, Business Activity Specialist (11.07.22)

Employee Anniversaries

Sharon Tolbert presenting plaque to Shannon Walters for employee anniversary

Shannon Walters

HCV Manager

(20 years)

Sharon Tolbert presenting plaque to Beth Redding for employee anniversary

Beth Redding

Property Manager l - RHA (10 years)

Farewell to AJ Harris

AJ Harris and Sharon Tolbert

AJ's last day of employment with the AHA was on November 4, 2022. He was an important part of our team for the past three years. Wishing AJ the best in his new role at the Boys and Girls Club!

Employee Spotlight: Shannon Walters

shannon spotlight Congratulations to Shannon Walters on celebrating 20 years of employment with the Auburn Housing Authority (AHA)! Shannon was hired on April 2, 2002, as the Public Housing Coordinator. She is a loyal and dedicated team player. Shannon has worn many hats and served in different capacities, including Public Housing, Property Management, and the HCV Program. She was promoted to her current position as the HCV Manager in 2021 and received her HCV Specialist Certification in June 2022. Shannon manages the daily operations of the HCV Department overseeing and implementing various initiatives with the HCV Program. Shannon's broad experience makes her a tremendous asset to AHA and its managed Agencies. We look forward to her continued leadership and contributions to the HCV Department!

 

Staff Directory

Sandra Sanders Executive Admin Assistant 237

ssanders@auburnhousingauth.org

 

Housing Choice Voucher (HCV)      
Wendy Cochran Chief Operating Officer 247

wcochran@auburnhousingauth.org

 

Shannon Walters HCV Manager 221

sbarrios@auburnhousingauth.org

 

Charlotte Bowen HCV Caseworker II 224

cbowen@auburnhousingauth.org

 

Rachel Harris Family Self-Sufficiency Coordinator 259

rharris@auburnhousingauth.org

 

Multifamily Housing (MFH)      
Laura Squiers MFH Director 243

lsquiers@auburnhousingauth.org

 

Dominique Moore Interim Property Management Supervisor 242

dmoore@auburnhousingauth.org

 

Greg Moore

Regional Maintenance Manager

262

gmoore@auburnhousingauth.org

 

Tina Rodriguez Cashier/Receptionist 212

trodriguez@auburnhousingauth.org

 

Charlotte Mattox Resident Services Coordinator 230

cmattox@auburnhousingauth.org

 

Finance      
Wendy Cochran
Chief Operating Officer 247

wcochran@auburnhousingauth.org

 

Richetta Stephens Business Activity Specialist 228

rstephens@auburnhousingauth.org

 

Sylvia Impson Purchasing Clerk 255

simpson@auburnhousingauth.org

 


Roanoke Rising Winter 2023 - HR and News Continued

Office Closures

  • Dr. Martin Luther King Day (January 16)

Observed holidays that fall on Friday or Saturday will be observed on the preceding Thursday because the Housing Authority's office is closed on Friday. Observed holidays that fall on Sunday will be observed on the following Monday.


Careers

Current Openings

  • Maintenance Mechanic Asst. (LHA site)
  • Maintenance Mechanic (RHA site)
  • HCV Landlord Liaison
  • Procurement Specialist

Visit www.auburnhousingauth.org/careers for job descriptions.

Employee Benefits:

  • BCBS medical benefits
  • BCBS dental benefits
  • Group life insurance
  • State retirement
  • Supplemental insurance
  • Annual leave
  • Sick leave
  • Paid holidays
  • Career Incentive Program (CIP)*
  • Four-day work week (Monday - Thursday)

*The Board of Commissioners approved the CIP in May 2022. The CIP encourages employees to obtain and develop job-related knowledge and skills which enhance their value to AHA and its managed agencies. To foster participation in higher-level career development opportunities, the CIP incentivizes employees to achieve various professional development milestones.


Procurement

E-Procurement Process

To improve our communication with our vendors, reduce administrative costs, and streamline our procurement process, AHA conducts most of its competitive solicitations on the e-Procurement Marketplace site. Please be advised that AHA absorbs all costs for using this Marketplace. Therefore, your firm incurs no additional charges to use this Marketplace site to respond to a published procurement solicitation.

To take part in the e-procurement process, please follow these instructions:
1. Visit ha.economicengine.com (no "www").
2. Registered Users - Click on the "login" button on the upper left side
3. Non-registered Users - Click on the "Sign up as a Vendor" button on the lower-left side of the screen and follow the listed directions to register.
4. Select - Auburn Housing Authority as your Agency
If you have any problems accessing or registering on the Marketplace, please contact their customer support at (866) 526-9266.

Benefits of utilizing e-Procurement include:
• Automatic notification of bid opportunities
• The ability to download procurement documents
• Automatic notification of addenda
• Access to procurement


Roanoke Rising Winter 2023 - Employee Meeting

Annual employee meeting group

AHA had its Annual Employee Meeting at the Boykin Community Center on October 27, 2022. The staff enjoyed breakfast catered by Byron's Smokehouse.

During the meeting, the CEO discussed fulfilling the agency's mission and vision statements, FYE2022 updates, FYE2023 goals and objectives, employee recognitions, and more.

Executive Management Team Executive Management Team
Finance Team Finance Team
HCV Team HCV Team
Multifamily Housing Team Multifamily Housing Team
Resident Services team member Resident Services Team

Roanoke Rising Winter 2023 - Iron Bowl Tailgate

Iron Bowl Tailgate Group

Employees and Commissioners wore their favorite team colors during our Iron Bowl Tailgate.

We enjoyed food, games, and music as we celebrated the Auburn vs. Alabama football game!

View the full photo gallery on our website.


Roanoke Rising Winter 2023 - Christmas Luncheon

Group of attendees at Christmas Luncheon

Commissioners, Resident Advisory Board, employees, and guests gathered to enjoy great food and fellowship during the 2022 Christmas Luncheon.

Many were recognized for various achievements, an update was provided on 2022 accomplishments, and we all shared many laughs during Dirty Santa.

View the full photo gallery on our website.


Roanoke Rising Winter 2023 - Farmers Market

Roanoke Farmers Market

The Roanoke Housing Authority (RHA) hosted an onsite Thanksgiving Farmer's Market in the Avenue A community on November 16th; 62 families were served. The Christmas Farmer's Market was held on December 21st; 57 families were served. Both events provided fresh fruits and vegetables, canned goods, frozen meals, juices, pastries, and more.

RHA sponsored the event in partnership with the Auburn Community Development Corporation and the East Alabama Food Bank. With the help of staff and community volunteers, the Farmer's Market was a success. Thank you to our partners and volunteers for helping us to provide this wonderful service to our community!

Roanoke Farmers Market individuals behind rectangle tables with food


Roanoke Rising Winter 2023 - Food Pantry

Boykin Community Center Flyer

Boykin Community Center Food Pantry is Open!

Providing free dry goods and other household items.

Open for Walk-ins at 400 Boykin St.

Tuesdays from 8-10 AM

Thursday from 2-4 PM

Schedule an appointment by calling 334.821.2262 ext. 208 or emailing foodpantry@auburnhousingauth.org.


Roanoke Rising Winter 2023 - Scholarships

PHADA has implemented a scholarship program for graduating seniors who are preparing to enter college. Applications for the 2023 Scholarship Program Are Due to PHADA by January 27, 2023.

HAI Group's 2023 Resident Scholarship Program will launch on Monday, February 6, 2023. To be eligible, you also must be attending an institution of higher education in the Fall of 2023.

The NAHRO Merit College Scholarship awards $1,000 each to eight scholars, one from each NAHRO region, who are pursuing their first post-secondary degree.

Additional scholarships are available.

Learn more about these and other scholarships at www.auburnhousingauth.org/college-resources.

_AHA Scholarship Newsletter Page

Scholarship Fair

High School Seniors, Parents, and Students enrolled in college are invited to the upcoming Scholarship Fair to learn about scholarships offered to our housing residents.

Thursday, January 19th from 3-4 PM
Porter Community Center
415 White Street, Auburn, AL 36832
for questions, please contact charlotte Mattox at 334-329-5010.


Roanoke Rising Winter 2023 - Resident Corner

Resident Notice

The Roanoke Housing Authority's (RHA) mission is to provide safe, decent and affordable housing for families. RHA must comply with the Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) regulations and RHA's internal policies and procedures. RHA 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 public housing dwelling lease.

d. Comply with all written requests 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 public housing assistance, please contact Beth Redding, Property Manager l (334) 863-4513.


Public Hearing

Roanoke Housing Authority: FYB2023 HUD Annual Plan, FYB2023 - 2027 Rolling CFP Plan, FYB2018 - 2022 CFP Revisions, and Dwelling Lease Revision

Date: March 21, 2023

Time: 10 am (CT)

Location: Roanoke Housing Authority, 231 Avenue A, Roanoke, AL 36274


Emergency Rental Assistance Alabama

Effective December 15, 2022, new ERAA applications will no longer be accepted. Further, additional funds cannot be requested for existing applications. If you have questions, please contact the following:

Laura Squiers, Multifamily Housing Director

Email: lsquiers@auburnhouisngauth.org,

Phone: (334) 821-2262 ext 243.


Roanoke Rising Winter 2023 - Resident Corner Continued

Surveillance Cameras

Surveillance cameras are being installed on the exterior of various units. The cameras will allow staff to monitor properties better and improve the level of service we provide to our residents. Staff will continue to evaluate and expand the camera project. If you have questions, contact Laura Squiers, Multifamily Housing Director, at (334) 821-2262 ext. 243 or lsquiers@auburnhousingauth.org.


Internet Service

Public housing residents and Section 8 program participants are eligible for the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). The program provides a discount of up to $30 per month towards internet service for eligible households. Households can also receive up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers if they contribute between $10 and $50 toward the purchase price.

To enroll in the program, a household has to do the following:

1. Complete an online or mailā€in application at ACPBenefit.org; and

2. Contact a participating provider to select an internet plan and have the ACP discount applied.


Tax Preparation

The IRS's Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs offer free basic tax return preparation to qualified individuals.

The VITA program has operated for over 50 years. VITA sites offer free tax help to people who need assistance in preparing their own tax returns, including:

  • People who generally make $60,000 or less
  • Persons with disabilities; and
  • Limited English-speaking taxpayers

In addition to VITA, the TCE program offers free tax help, particularly for those 60 years of age and older, specializing in questions about pensions and retirement-related issues unique to seniors.

VITA and TCE sites are generally located at community and neighborhood centers, libraries, schools, shopping malls, and other convenient locations across the country. To locate the nearest VITA or TCE site near you, call 800-906-9887.


Rent Payment

Beginning December 29, 2022, ALL locations will stop taking rent at 4:30 p.m. on the last business day of each month.


Roanoke Rising Winter 2023 - More Resident Corner

Rental Insurance

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

 

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.

 

Pet Policy

RHA's Pet Policy is included within the Lease Addendum signed by all Residents. By signing, residents agreed to report all pets and pay deposits and applicable fees. Per the lease, RHA residents agree to:

"Not keep or allow dogs, cats, or any other animals or pets on the premises without the prior written consent of the Landlord and in accordance with the Landlord's Pet Policy. Residents are only allowed to keep common household pets in their units subject to the execution of the pet policy of the Landlord and proper execution of the Lease addendum for pets. Resident agrees to comply with the Pet Policy. Violation of the pet rules, as outlined in the lease addendum, will be grounds for removal of the pet, fines, termination of pet owner's tenancy, or both. Violation of this Paragraph shall be considered a serious violation of this lease;."

If you have a pet and have not notified the property manager, do so immediately. Failure to comply can lead to financial penalties and/or eviction. To request a copy or questions concerning the RHA's Pet Policy, contact Beth Redding via phone at 334-863-4513 or via e-mail at bredding@auburnhousingauth.org.

 

Maintenance

For the safety of our residents and maintenance staff, effective immediately, residents will not be allowed in the vicinity of our maintenance staff while they are performing maintenance repairs inside of RHA units. Residents will be required to go into another room until all maintenance issues have been addressed. 

An emergency work order will be completed 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 Heat (when the outside temperature is less than 35 degrees)

Please call to request a work order:

Greg Moore
Regional Maintenance Manager
Phone: (334) 821-2262 ext. 262

For Police and Fire Emergencies dial 911


Roanoke Rising Winter 2023 - Residents

Policy Reminder

RHA is committed to providing all residents with safe, decent, and sanitary housing and ensuring that all residents have the right to peaceful enjoyment of their apartment. As a part of this commitment, RHA has implemented weekly property assessments. As a result, RHA requests residents' assistance in addressing frequent issues observed. (Please note that all residents agree to abide by this policy upon signing a lease, failure to do so can lead to fines and eviction.)

1. No parking on or driving across the grass is permitted at any time.
2. Before bringing a pet and/or service animal home, you must contact RHA's office. RHA has no pet visitation policy.
3. All smoke detectors inside the home must be operable. Residents should contact the office to request batteries for all beeping smoke detectors. Smoke detectors should not be tampered with, removed, disconnected, or covered.

Contact RHA Property Manager Beth Redding via phone at 334-869-8863 or by e-mail at bredding@auburnhousingauth.org.

 

Exterior and Groundskeeping

RHA is committed to providing an attractive environment for all our communities. Residents, please be reminded that:
1. All garbage and debris must be disposed of in the City of Roanoke assigned garbage carts. No trash should accumulate on the grounds or porch of the apartment.
2. All garbage carts must be stored appropriately at the rear of my apartment. Garbage carts are allowed on the street the night before the scheduled pickup and returned to storage the next day.
3. All child(ren)/guests; conduct must be controlled to prevent damage to the interior and exterior of the apartment.
4. Roofs must be free of litter, sticks, and other debris.
5. Do not accumulate items on the porch, yard, or any other property premises.
6. Inoperable vehicles are not allowed in parking areas, sidewalks, or grass.
7. All bicycles and toys must be stored appropriately and not scattered around the yard.
8. All large items (sofas, mattresses, etc.) must not be on the curb earlier than one day before the scheduled City of Roanoke garbage pickup.

 

Curb Stopper Award

RHA is looking for residents with the best curb appeal. We invite you to decorate your front and back yard and porch for a chance to win a $50 gift, a yard sign, and a feature story in the quarterly newsletter. Awards will be given quarterly. The RHA Team will assess yards during the seasonal period and place signs in yards under consideration for the Quarterly RHA Curb Stopper Award. Winners will be announced via social media, website, and other available outlets at the end of the seasonal period. The seasonal periods will be:

The seasonal periods will be:
Fall - September - November
Winter - December - February
Spring - March - May
Summer - June - August

Eligible yards must:

  • Comply with all RHA policies (Contact the RHA office to request copies)
  • Include Front and Back yards and porches
  • Get approval from the Property Manager before making any fundamental changes to the yard or building structure.

RHA encourages all residents to participate! Contact Property Manager Beth Redding via phone at 334-869-8863 and e-mail at bredding@auburnhousingauth.org for questions concerning the RHA Curb Stopper Award Contest.


Roanoke Rising Winter 2023 - Resident Advisory Board

Resident Advisory Board Flyer

Dedicated Board Members Wanted!

The Resident Advisory Board (RAB) members work with the housing authority team to provide feedback, make suggestions, and represent the community at various events.

Member Characteristics

The Resident Advisory Board (RAB) is composed of residents and program participants who want to be community leaders.

  • Desire to make a difference in your community
  • Wish to engage with other members of your community
  • Wish to engage with housing authority team members
  • Have a lot of ideas that you want to share
  • Desire to be an active community leader
  • Desire to be more actively engaged in your community
  • Love working on a team

Requirements

  • Must be in good standing with the Housing Authority
  • Available to attend Monthly Meetings and represent the authority at events
  • Commit to making an impact in their community

To apply, complete the Resident Advisory Board Interest Application.

Contact Resident Services Coordinator Charlotte Mattox at 334-821-2262 ext. 230 with any questions.