GLOVERSVILLE HOUSING AUTHORITY
Minutes of a Regular Meeting
The Gloversville Housing Authority’s Board of Commissioners met at its monthly meeting that was held at the Gloversville Housing Authority, 141 West Street on March 14th, 2022 at 6:00p.m.
Board Members Present:
- Brenda Leitt, Chairperson
- John Poling, Commissioner
- Ellen Anadio, Commissioner
- Raymond Yorks, Commissioner
- Kaci Coffin, Commissioner
- Lashawn Hawkins, Commissioner
- Anthony Casale, Authority Legal Counsel
- Bryan Golberger, Authority Legal Counsel
- Jason Mazur – Executive Director
Chairperson Leitt called the meeting to order at 6:05 p.m. All present stood for the Pledge of Allegiance and moment of silence.
Chairperson Leitt conducted a roll call memorializing the presence of the above-named individuals.
Chairperson Leitt opened the floor for public comment, and with there having been no speakers, the board proceeded with the agenda.
Chairperson Leitt opened the floor for announcements of commissioners and with there being none, the board proceeded with the agenda.
Chairperson Leitt opened the floor for Communications.
Attorney Casale indicated that he had spoken earlier in the day with GHA Director Mazur, who spoken on the telephone with Resident Commissioner Thomas Tubbs. Mr. Tubbs told Mazur of his desire to resign from the board. Attorney Casale indicated that the GHA Board did not have any resignation document to act on during tonight’s meeting and that the term for Tubbs is concluded at the end of April and that in the event that a resignation document is received prior to the April 2022 monthly meeting, then a resolution will be presented.
If no document is presented, then the term will expire at the end of April. Commissioner Poling asked for clarification for the terms of the Resident Commissioners and Attorney Casale indicated that the terms are each two years in duration and are staggered.
Chairperson Leitt opened the floor for Old Business and with there being none, the board proceeded with its agenda.
The Executive Director’s report was provided by Jason Mazur.
We met with Vincent DeSantis, Mayor and the City’s grant writer, Nick Zabowski and the City is going to include GHA in its One Million Dollar grant application for sewer infrastructure. This would provide for separate grinders underneath the buildings so that it doesn’t back things up. We are awaiting the completion of a survey so that we can make our submission for the grant. As Frank mentioned last meeting, we need to make serious repairs. Each repair is at least $700 and it is happening a couple times each week. …
We had to renew our designated housing plan, which is one of the resolutions on for tonight. This plan is renewed every two years, which is essentially the designation of certain buildings for certain demographics. With regard to GHA, the plan has been the same for several years – Dubois Garden Apartments are for low-income families and the towers are used for elderly, near elderly and disabled tenant. We are not making any substantive changes….
With regard to occupancy levels, this remains a major concern. Rent is the biggest driver of revenue. We were at 82% at the beginning of last month and now we are at 83%. We signed three leases at the beginning of the month and we have three more ready to go for the middle of this month. So we are making improvements. The maintenance crew has made a couple more units ready for leasing and we are focused on delegating labor to the right places to get these units ready, particularly in the towers where we have approximately 21-22 vacant units. Our occupancy level needs to be at 96% and we are at 83% right now, so not only does it hurt our finances, but each month we need to provide explanations and justification to HUD about the situation. During the winter months there was unfortunately a spike in number of tenant deaths and there was also a spike in the number of tenants that moved into assisted-living facilities. This resulted in us not being able to turn around these units for re-leasing all at once, which compounded the vacancy issue that already existed.…
Regarding the grant, this is a huge opportunity for us to replace infrastructure. If we receive the grant, it may not cover the entirety of our expense but it would be a huge benefit for GHA if we received the grant. …..
Chairperson Leitt inquired about the ramifications from HUD regarding the current occupancy levels and Mazur explained that if the rate remains below level, HUD can lower its funding for operating subsidies and grants to be based upon the lower occupancy level. Mazur also explained that HUD has been very understanding and that the issues GHA is facing exist throughout the New York State with regard to public housing. …
Commissioner Poling expressed thanks to Mazur for spending some time recently with him to review occupancy level issues. 51 units are not occupied. 72 units are delinquent more than 30 days. That’s over 123 units out of 297 that we are not receiving any income – that was alarming. But realizing what is going on with Covid, as well as staffing, and emergency rental assistance, was illuminating. Hopefully that money will help….
Mazur said he has the list of delinquencies to review with Attorney Casale. We are providing all those who receive a 14 day notice to pay rent with the ERAP application. There are approximately 12 or 13 applications pending. Some have been paid back, 1,300 or 1,400 and one tenant received 3,000. These funds come directly to GHA. ….
Poling indicated that he was hoping that there a solution would be found soon and asked if anyone else on the board had any thoughts on the subject. Commissioner Anadio stated that she thought that the biggest factor was Covid. Mazur agreed, confirming that when the housing plan was last renewed, GHA was had a 96% occupancy rate and the drop has been over the last two years. Regarding Dubois Garden Apartments, the totals delinquencies are approximately $96, 000.00. The delinquencies at the towers are not that bad as the tenants are for the most part on fixed incomes. …
Poling noted the transfer of tower tenants to assisted living facilities and Mazur explained that when maintenance deals with an apartment that had been occupied for a long period of time like 20 years, it takes a considerable amount of time and work to ready the apartment for leasing. Many times there are delays in locating family members to assist removing belongings of the prior tenant ….
Commissioner Hawkins inquired about the eligibility for tower tenant and Mazur indicated it to be the elderly, near-elderly, and disabled. Hawkins asked if had to be a physical disability or whether mental health disability qualified and Mazur confirmed that mental health disability would render someone eligible. Hawkins inquired about families residing at the towers and Mazur indicated that prospective tenants had to comply with family composition standards for the units as only two people can reside in a one bedroom apartment so as to comply with HUD standards…..
Commissioner Poling inquired about the family support system for tenants and whether we have emergency contact information. Mazur stated that instances where the tenant has no family support system in place, we reach out to agencies like the Office of Aging and Youth. But unfortunately some people do not have any family support and sometimes their friends change. We try to keep an eye on it once we identify a situation like this.
Chairperson Leitt having opened the floor for board committee reports, and with there having been none, the board proceeded with the agenda.
Chairperson Leitt having opened the floor for new business.
Chairperson Leitt introduced Resolution 831 regarding monthly vendor invoices and read said resolution into the record as follows:
“Whereas the Gloversville Housing Authority’s Finance Committee has reviewed the monthly vendor invoices for payment of the financial obligations of the Gloversville Housing Authority for the month of February 2022 and finds all payments on the attached list to be in order.
Now therefore be it resolved, the Board of Commissioners of the Gloversville Housing Authority approves the disbursements for February 2022 as set forth on the attached list.”
Commissioner Anadio asked for a motion of recusal due to two payments having been made to the City of Gloversville from the list of checks referenced by Leitt. The motion for recusal was made by Commissioner Hawkins and seconded by Commissioner Coffin. There was no discussion and the motion was approved 5-0 in the affirmative.
A motion to adopt Resolution 831 was then made by Commissioner Poling and seconded by Commissioner Coffin. There was no additional discussion. Resolution 831 was ratified by a vote of 5-0 in the affirmative……
Chairperson Leitt introduced Resolution 832 To Approve Submission of Designated Housing Plan and read said resolution into the record as follows
“Whereas, the Gloversville Housing Authority is a political subdivision of the State of New York; and Whereas, the Gloversville Housing Authority is a fiscally responsible affordable housing provider which owns and operates conventional public housing in the City of Gloversville as well as operates a Housing Choice Voucher Program in Gloversville;
Now, therefore, be it Resolved that Gloversville Housing Authority’s Board of Commissioners does hereby wish to designate certain portions of its public housing stock for elderly and near elderly residents only.
The designated housing stock will include the Forrest Hill and Kingsboro Towers Apartments.” A motion to adopt the resolution was made by Commissioner Anadio and a second was made by Commissioner Yorks. The floor was opened for discussion and there was no discussion. Resolution 832 was ratified by a vote of 6-0 in the affirmative.
Chairperson Leitt asked for a motion to adopt the minutes of the February 2022 monthly meeting. A motion was made by Commissioner Hawkins and a second was made by Commissioner Anadio. The floor was opened for discussion. There was no discussion. The motion was approved by a vote of 6-0 in the affirmative.
There was no executive session.
A motion to adjourn the meeting was made by Commissioner Anadio and a second was made by Commissioner Coffin, with said motion having carried by a vote of 6-0 in the affirmative. The meeting was adjourned at 6:27 p.m.
Lashawn Hawkins, Secretary