New Gloversville Housing Authority team working together

GHA Executive Dircetor Heather Reynolds, middle, building maintenance supervisor Joe Battaglia, right, and tenant relations assistant Linda Lizio, left, talked about their plans to work together while getting to know tenants and establishing routines over the next year on April 17. (The Leader-Herald/Ashley Onyon)

GLOVERSVILLE — The Gloversville Housing Authority’s new management team is focusing on getting to know the tenants and making the authority feel like home during their first year on the job.

Three leadership positions at the GHA have been filled in the past six months, with Heather Reynolds taking over as executive director, Joe Battaglia as building maintenance supervisor in February and Linda Lizio as tenant relations assistant last October.

Both Lizio and Battaglia worked for the GHA before stepping into their new positions. Reynolds, who is new to the GHA, has concentrated on getting to know the people behind the authority from the staff to tenants, saying that each individual is an important part of the team.

“I work with all of the employees, associates at GHA along with the tenants, I oversee everything that happens but I work with everybody to do that,” Reynolds said. “We in turn, affect how the tenants are going to live.”

The three leaders visited Kingsboro Towers in March for a meet and greet to give tenants a chance to ask questions, come forward with any concerns and learn more about how they plan to operate moving forward. Reynolds said that she isn’t planning to make overarching changes to the authority — her focus is on ensuring that things run smoothly at the authority so tenants are taken care of.

“My job is being able to have the GHA run smoothly, in doing that we need to work as a team and work together,” Reynolds said. “If we can all work together and make repairs in a timely manner and make sure that they’re listened to and everything goes smoothly, then that just makes for a happier environment.”

Lizio and Battaglia agreed Tuesday that their focus should be centered on providing tenants the best quality homes possible.

“These are their homes and for a lot of people it’s going to be their home for the rest of their lives, so we want to make them feel at home and do everything we can to make that happen for them,” Lizio said.

“All of us want to make sure that people enjoy where they live and enjoy their homes,” Reynolds “We want them to be happy in their homes and we want them to be happy in what we’re doing.”

In that capacity, the trio may work to resolve complaints, minor conflicts between residents, maintenance issues or housekeeping matters. To maintain quality of life for tenants, Battaglia and Reynolds have been working on facility improvements and developing activities for residents.

Since February, Battaglia has worked on upgrades and improvements across the authority’s properties including replacing television antennas to improve reception, kitchen countertops in apartments and lighting upgrades for streetlamps that increase visibility while saving money through low cost LEDs.

Battaglia said he has additional facility plans he would like to implement in the next year that he didn’t want to share until funding is secured.

Reynolds hopes to introduce more community activities for residents and is currently working with Catholic Charities to organize onsite movie nights for tenants during the summer.

“Those types of things — where you can get people together and make it a community instead of just a place to live, that’s what I enjoy,” Reynolds said.

In addition to tasks associated with their core roles, Reynolds, Lizio and Battaglia said they try to help tenants out with their individual needs whenever possible, knowing that some residents of the authority don’t have someone in their lives to help with simple tasks.

“There’s a much larger scope of what they do, of their overall work, but the guys that I oversee, if a wheelchair nut needs to be tightened, they’ll do little things like that for these tenants. They really do care,” Battaglia said. “They ask for little things that mean a lot for the tenants and the guys will always do it for them.”

The trio agreed that in overseeing hundreds of apartments there are daily issues to address, but they feel a sense of satisfaction in helping residents as they work together to quickly make lasting fixes. Battaglia added that low resident attendance at GHA Board of Commissioners meetings in recent months is a clear sign that tenants are satisfied.

To continue on this path, Reynolds wants the leadership team to spend the next year learning the best methods to handle day to day tasks and establish a routine at the GHA.

“Because there are so many facets of what we do and so many different things that happen on a daily basis it’s constantly changing,” Reynolds said. “Right now we’re trying to get through our first ‘semester’ and that’s a big goal.”

“We’re feeling out what works and what doesn’t and as a team we’ll figure that out, but it’s going to take us time,” Reynolds said. “The biggest thing is working to make GHA the best that it can be and in that, trying to figure out what are the best ways that we do things to be efficient, to help the tenants and to help one another.”

By Kerry Minor

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