Chair Cannon presided at the Board of Commissioners of the Peoria Housing Authority (PHA) Regular Meeting 6/1/20 at 4:30 PM via Zoom with all Commissioners present. There were no Community Comments. New employee, Holly Karl, Executive Assistant, was introduced.
The minutes of the May 5, 2020 meeting were approved. The Reports were approved by consent of the members, unanimously.
Jackie Newman, Chief Executive Officer, reported that while the PHA office continues to be closed to the public, the process of placing families into housing continues. Four hundred nineteen applications were processed in the past month, as well as, six hundred annual resident verifications were completed. Improvements continue to be made at properties, including replacement of gutters and gutter guards at Harrison, hydro-flushing of hydrants and sewers, improvement of boiler at Harrison, and sidewalk repair/replacement. At Taft families are being moved to central locations to facilitate caulking of windows due to water intrusion. Security camera installation at Sterling Towers is now complete. Twelve scattered units have had improvements routine maintenance improvements. PHA staff anticipate a positive score on next audit and will continue ongoing maintenance of properties.
Finance Committee met earlier in the day and Treasurer Heffner reported no issues. Resolution approved for modification of current contract with Point Services of $63,500 for complete renovation of 2411-B Starr St. due to vandal damage while vacant. Resolution approved to award professional legal services contract for evictions. Prior contract had expired; this was put out for bid.
Regular meeting was adjourned at 4:50 PM. Commissioners then went into closed session.
Connie Romanus, Observer
The PHA Board of Commissioners was conducted electronically. Chairman Cannon called the meeting to order at 4:30 PM. Commissioner William Purham was absent. Chief Executive Officer, Jackie Newman, was present. Meeting information was posted online, as well as in the Peoria Journal Star classified section.
There were no community comments. Two new employees were introduced: one for Accounts Receivable and an Assistant Asset Manager for Harrison. There were no Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) graduates. Note: minutes are posted on website.
Chief Executive Ms. Newman reported she and her staff have been on calls with regional and national HUD offices every other week to keep updated with executive orders for Covid-19. A draft transition plan for sheltering place is being developed with staff and adapting changes and procedures for safety of residents and staff. In addition, Phase 3 Individual Development Accounts IDA) application has been submitted. One example of program using IDA grants is the FSS program; low income families who qualify receive housing vouchers and training to build assets to achieve economic self-sufficiency.
Chair Cannon called the meeting of the PHA Board of Commissioners to order at 4:30pm. Meeting was held electronically via Zoom with public notice of the meeting posted in the Peoria Journal Star as well as on PHA website with log in information. Meeting Agenda was available on the PHA website. Chair Cannon, Vice Chair Brown and Kadar Heffner were present in person; Helen King participated via electronically. Chairman Cannon read a statement regarding the meeting being held electronically pursuant to Executive Order 2020-07 signed by Governor Pritzker and guidance provided by Legal Counsel due to the coronavirus pandemic.
There were no public comments; this observer participated via Zoom. There was one new employee introduced to the Board, Marsh Moses, who is an Assistant Manager for Sterling Towers.
Chief Executive Office, Jackie Newman, reported PHA was keeping in touch with State government, Illinois Department of Public Health, Centers for Disease Control, and HUD regarding Covid-19 precautions via webinars and conference calls. Weekly updates with PHA staff is being done electronically. PHA offices are currently closed to the public through April 30. Director Newman discussed steps being taken for income verification so that families are not not paying more than required if work status or hours have been reduced. She also discussed that PHA staff cannot mandate adherence to social distancing and hand washing at high rise housing facilities, such as Sterling Towers. Education on these strategies are available, as well, as sanitizing stations in common areas. Managers are available to follow up on resident concerns.
Security concerns were discussed regarding Harrison units.
Meeting held at PHA Offices. Tim Shelly, local NPR reporter was present. Board members present: Secretary, Helen King, who led the meeting, and Commissioner Kim Furness. Director Jackie Newman and Melissa Huffsteadter were present, as well.
A representative from Bear Development, the company that will construct the new housing at the Taft site, reported on the status of the project. Stake holder meetings have been held with the City of Peoria and residents of Taft. HUD has approved the initial application and the next phase is due by March 23, 2020. The Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) allows for specific number of public housing units to change to federal based vouchers. 226 Units at Taft will be demolished to make way for renovation; 142 new units will be built as single and duplex style homes. The East Bluff Project is also part of this effort. Jane Genzel, Executive Director of Peoria Opportunities Foundation was in the audience and gave overview: project consists of 16 RAD properties and will build 20 single family homes and 5 duplexes; all are 2-3 bedrooms and fully applianced. Bear Development expects the timeline for approval process and funding to take to the end of 2020. This funding will include Individual Development Accounts (IDA), which provides funds to persons of low income to promote asset building and promote home ownership.
Helen King stated the Taft project has full support from the PHA Board; Peoria City Council has also given support to the project. Director Newman stated that both of these approvals give strength to the project with HUD officials.
PHA will continue to meet with stakeholders to finalize plans and keep residents updated on the project. Current residents of Taft Housing would be eligible to apply for units in the East Bluff Project under the “Resident Right to Return” or they could opt for a new unit at Taft.
The meeting ended at 12:22 p.m. Connie Romanus, Observer
Recent HUD inspections of PHA properties included improved scores and ratings achieved with upward trends identified to meet HUD policies. Director Newman and board recognized efforts of all staff in this achievement.
PEORIA HOUSING AUTHORITY (PHA) FIVE YEAR CAPTAL FUND PROGRAM 2020 AGENCY ANNUAL PLAN
The PHA recently completed a series of public hearings to get input from citizens on their Five Year Capital Fund Program (FY 2020-2024) and Annual Plan. The United States Human Services and Urban Renewal Department (HUD) requires a 45-day public comment period starting August 21, and ending October 4, 2019. Copies of the plans for public review can be obtained at the Peoria Housing Authority, 100 Richard Pryor Place, Peoria, IL. There were five public meetings scheduled. The meeting attended by Cheryl Budzinski and myself was on September 9 at PHA office at Harrison Homes. The meeting was led by Melissa Hofstadter; Kandace Simpson, PHA Administrative Assistant was present.
Melissa gave an overview of the specific developments and goals for sites for 2020; the PHA receives approximately $1.5 million annually and has 2 years to obligate funds and 4 years to expend them.
Chairman Cannon opened the Oct 7 Monthly Meeting at 4:30 pm with Commissioners Renee Andrews and Kim Furness absent. There were four individuals who spoke during Community Comments.
Peoria Housing Authority (PHA) Board of Commissioners meeting was held on August 5 at Taft Homes, 245 Green St. at 4:30 pm with Commissioners Tekia Childs and Renee Andrews absent.
Chairman Cannon informed the audience that additional board members would be present next meeting. Meeting agenda was posted on PHA web site; no additional information or approved meeting minutes were posted at the time of this meeting. Many residents of Taft Homes were present, anticipating discussion of the future plans to renovate Taft Homes. Commissioner Cannon explained that the plans would be shared with residents at public meetings as soon as they were available. There were no public comments. Jackie Neuman, CEO, gave her report and shared copies of PHA quarterly newsletter. Monthly Board meetings will be held at various PHA sites for improved communication with residents.
The Regular meeting of the Board of Commissioners for PHA was held on July 1, 2019 at 4:30 PM. The meeting began without a quorum. Council Person Denise Moore was present and discussed formation of Fair Housing and Fair Employment Commission. No further business took place until Commissioner Alma Brown arrived 4:59 PM.
Jackie Newman, Chief Executive Officer, discussed changes for PHA property at Taft and plan that compliments city revitalization plan. Commissioner Helen King asked if residents would be included in planning at Taft; response was affirmative. Harrison Resource Center will hold Grand Opening July 15. Resolution to approve early start development agreement with BEAR development of Taft Homes through Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) Program was approved.
The regularly scheduled Board of Commissioners meeting was scheduled to begin at 4:30 pm on June 3, 2019 at 100 S. Richard Pryor Place, Peoria IL. There were three Commissioners present at this time. Due to lack of a quorum, the meeting did not begin until 5:25 pm.
In the interim wait, new employee introduction was made, two FSS graduates were introduced. In addition, two NICHA Scholarship Award recipients were presented; one recipient has completed her BSN in Nursing.
This observer questioned PHA Secretary regarding lack of availability of Board packet or approved prior meeting minutes for 2019 on PHA website. Response was that many documents had been submitted to be posted on website and not in her control. Meeting Agenda was posted on PHA website. Statement, “Our website is under construction, please check back”, continues to be posted.
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