Public housing providers are drawing inspiration from the alphabet.
Tanya Mitchell-Weston, executive director for the Warren County Housing Authority, revealed a plan during Tuesday afternoon's board of directors meeting aimed at decreasing the authority's number of vacancies. It's called "A to K."
"It's a fantastic idea," Mitchell-Weston said. "It changes how we handle the waiting list."
In the name, "A" stands for "application" while "K" stands for "keys." The goal, Mitchell-Weston said, is to cut down the amount of time between prospective tenants applying for housing and receiving keys to their new housing units.
Mitchell-Weston believes they can reduce the process to a 30-day time period. Tracey Kranak, finance director, said they will achieve it by reducing the amount of time spent dealing with applicants they know don't qualify for public housing.
"Concentrating on good tenants will help a lot," Kranak said.
The current process has been used for 20 years. Nobody had thought of taking those off the list who aren't worth the authority's time, Kranak said.
In other business, Mitchell-Weston proposed adding a staff member to provide social services to tenants. Currently, staff only serves as landlords.
Over the years, Mitchell-Weston said, changing demographics among tenants have created more demands for social services. Local agencies aren't meeting social service needs of tenants the way the authority requires, she added.
Representatives of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development had made the suggestion of hiring a social service coordinator when they visited the authority. Instead of serving a primarily elderly population, Mitchell-Weston said there are more tenants who have mental disabilities.
The board did not take action on the proposed social service coordinator.
Members planned to have their next meeting at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 16 at Conewango Towers.