The Warren County Housing Authority is reaching out to its fellow authorities in the region while taking steps to bring services closer to home.
According to Authority Executive Director Tonya Mitchell-Weston, the authority has met with a number of regional authorities including the Clarion County Housing Authority, the McKean County Redevelopment and Housing Authority, which operates the Housing Authority of the City of Bradford, and the Erie County and Corry Housing authorities and Corry Redevelopment Authority, which is a single entity.
"We've gotten some really good ideas that we'll be trying to put into place coming up," Mitchell-Weston told the authority board at its monthly meeting on Tuesday.
Mitchell-Weston also reported the authority recently hosted a training for authority staff, and staff from five other authorities also attended.
"Most of the trainings we attend we have to travel at least to Blairsville," Mitchell-Weston said. "That's a pretty good drive."
Mitchell-Weston expressed hope the authority could host more trainings locally, eliminating the need for such extensive travel. Blairsville is approximately 120 miles from Warren.
Board members approved allowing the authority to house displaced victims of natural disasters. In order to expedite such emergency housing, board members approved such displaced individuals as having preference when filling housing openings. The move came in response to a HUD request following Superstorm Sandy.
After conducting a search for a co-ordinator/case manager to handle tenant services, the authority will be subcontracting a case manager to fill the position from Warren County Human Services. The authority is also currently interviewing candidates to fill a part-time janitorial position.
Mitchell-Weston reported the authority will be moving towards a paperless tenant file system. The system will require purchase of high-resolution scanners to input the existing tenant forms and a higher capacity server to house the data.
"It will take at least one year to get all the tenant files scanned in," Mitchell-Weston said.
The authority, Mitchell-Weston said, will also be upgrading its database system. The move will help with the move to a paperless system as well as providing the means to improve how the authority handles its accounts receivable/payable tracking.
The authority is moving forward with the acquisition of a number of vehicles. One maintenance vehicle has been delivered and two more were reported to be ready to deliver. The authority is looking into acquiring a van for staff transport, and new tractors for the maintenance department have been ordered.