GHA plans switch to Section 8 housing

PHOTOGRAPHER:
Tim Mattice

GLOVERSVILLE — The Gloversville Housing Authority will be moving to a new funding system following approval of an application to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

During Thursday’s GHA meeting, Executive Director Timothy Mattice announced the authority’s commitment to convert to Section 8 funding has been approved.

Mattice said GHA will no longer get subsidies from the section 9 system, a public-housing-based program, and will instead get them from Section 8 through either project-based voucher or rental assistance.

He said HUD has been encouraging the program to convert to Section 8 since the funding is more stable.

“We will no longer be a public housing agency, per se. Our funding will come from the Section 8 program,” Mattice said.

According to HUD, the Rental Assistance Demonstration program — or RAD — allows public housing authorities to make needed repairs to buildings without depending on additional money from the government. Public Housing Authority’s are allowed to leverage public and private debt and equity into reinvestments in the public housing stock.

Mattice said the GHA will be reaching out to residents in the coming days and weeks to discuss how the change will and will not affect them.

“The funding is guaranteed for over a 20-year period, whereas the Section 9 program, the funding fluctuates from month to month,” Mattice said.

According to HUD, the 20-year contract must be renewed, which ensures the units remain permanently affordable to low-income households.

“It preserves affordable housing for our community for a guaranteed 20 years, without threat of losing funding or maintaining facilities,” Mattice said.

Mattice said the move to Section 8 gives more control for budgeting and day-to-day operations at facilities and frees them up from some of the bureaucracy they are currently under.

“It allows us to become more of a property manager than addressing regulatory guidelines every day,” he said.

Mattice said the GHA has 120 days to complete the process, with the hope it will be completed by the end of summer.

According to HUD, the RAD program allows public housing agencies to leverage public and private debt and equity into reinvestments in the public housing stock.

Residents continue to pay 30 percent of their income toward the rent and they maintain the same basic rights as they possess in the public housing program.

The RAD program is cost-neutral and does not increase HUD’s budget.

Mattice said the program will allow residents to become more mobile.

He said that after a year, residents will be able to apply for a mobile Section 8 voucher and move anywhere they chose to in the country.

He said they will be put on a Section 8 waiting list for a new apartment in their new chosen area.

He said the change will also reduce the cost of contracts with contractors.

“I think over the next 10 years, you’ll see a complete shift of public housing to a RAD program or a Section 8, because HUD can’t maintain the Section 9 program any longer,” Mattice said.

Kerry Minor can be reached at [email protected]

By Chad Fleck

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