Housing authority’s executive director out

GLOVERSVILLE — Gloversville Housing Authority Executive Director Amanda Ossenfort is out of that position, effective Thursday.

GHA Board of Commissioners Chairwoman Brenda Leitt on Thursday afternoon verified the departure, but declined to say whether Ossenfort was terminated or simply resigned on her own.

“She is no longer employed,” said Leitt.

She said she had no other details to relate about her departure at this time, including who will be doing the GHA’s day-to-day duties now until a replacement is found. She said she “couldn’t say” who was administering the authority currently.

Leitt did say that the GHA Board of Commissioners will conduct an emergency meeting at 6:30 p.m. Monday at the authority office at Dubois Garden Apartments. She said the meeting will be mostly a closed-door, executive session.

Gloversville 1st Ward Councilwoman Marcia Weiss, also a GHA board member, stated Thursday of Ossenfort: “I can only tell you she’s no longer here.”

Gloversville Mayor Vincent DeSantis couldn’t be reached Thursday for comment.

The GHA administrates three main housing units in Gloversville: The 85-apartment, low-income family housing at Dubois Garden Apartments, and Forest Hill Towers and Kingsboro Towers, both for ages 62 and older.

The Board of Commissioners approved a resolution appointing Ossenfort executive director of the GHA last Nov. 18 during a special meeting. She was serving under a four-year contract, with a starting annual salary of $80,000.

A Gloversville resident, Ossenfort had previous experience with administration of the GHA, having previously served as a member of the Board of Commissioners from fall 2018 to fall 2019.

She resigned from the board ahead of the resignation of former Executive Director Heather Reynolds in November 2019. The board had sought a waiver from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to allow Ossenfort to be named the new GHA executive director before a year elapsed following her departure from the board as is normally required, according to GHA labor attorney Bryan Goldberger. But HUD never allowed the waiver.

Without being able to secure the waiver, the board over a year conducted a search for a permanent executive director, aided by a search consultant and although applicants were interviewed over the course of the process, no candidates for the appointment emerged.

After a year since her resignation from the board, Ossenfort last November was able to apply and interview for the position, ultimately selected for the appointment.

Ossenfort had come from a position with the state Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, where she reviewed and evaluated various disability claims under provisions of the U.S. Social Security Act and other federal and state regulations. She had also previously worked as a homeless services representative for the state, and early in her career worked at the Fulton Friendship House in Gloversville as the housing coordinator.

By Patricia Older