The Warren County Housing Authority's board of directors passed two measures earlier this week aimed at helping individuals qualify for housing programs.
One would allow program applicants a permissive deduction of a percentage of child support payments from gross income.
Under the measure, individuals who have court-ordered child support automatically deducted from their pay can deduct 50 percent of payments for purposes of calculating gross income when applying for low-income housing.
The measure is aimed at addressing situations in which an individual's gross pay disqualifies him or her from low-income housing, while support payments are high enough to render the person unable to afford traditional housing.
The other measure passed allows a 5-percent adjustment for wage earners not eligible for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) earned income disallowance.
Through the earned income disallowance, increases in income as a result of a family member who has been unemployed for one or more previous years finding employment, an increase in income due to participation in a self-sufficiency or job training program or an increase in income within six months after receiving assistance, benefits or services under any state Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program cannot be counted toward gross income totals when determining continued qualification for low income housing.
The disallowance has a lifetime limit of 48 months and works on a diminishing basis with 100 percent of the increase being disallowed during the first 12 months following the increase and 50 percent of the increase being disallowed in the second 12 months following the increase. The 48-month limit is cumulative. Individuals who move out of public housing before exhausting the disallowance retain any remaining benefit if applicable in the future.
Board members agreed the measure would keep individuals not eligible for the disallowance from being penalized for the results of efforts to improve their economic situation.
The board was also updated on the status of changes to authority office space.
Authority CEO Tonya Mitchell-Weston reported that efforts to purchase a nearby office building had failed, as the owner had turned down the authority's offer for the property and decided not to sell.
The effort had been an alternative to planned renovations at Conewango Towers, where offices are currently located.
As the purchase did not materialize, previous office renovation plans are moving forward with construction scheduled to start Feb. 24.
Board members agreed to have an appraisal done of the former South Street Early Learning Center property, which includes four lots. The authority is considering making a bid on the property, possibly for use as housing for seniors.
Section 8 Housing Coordinator Mary Mundt reported that 48 individuals were in Section 8 housing under local subsidies and two were in Section 8 housing under portable vouchers, which will be reimbursed by the housing authority in the area the individual is from.
The waiting list for Section 8 housing is currently closed, Mundt reported. There are currently more than 50 individuals on the waiting list. Mundt said subsidy funding issues are keeping the authority from housing more individuals, thereby removing them from the waiting list.