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HRS Residential Programs Suspended For The Summer

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
HRS Residential Programs Suspended For The Summer

Residential programs for Highlands Residential Services will be temporarily suspended this summer, so staff can assist with administrative duties.

These programs include Teens Need Training, KIDS Matter and others. Executive Director Dow Harris said the housing authority needs more workers to review applications for Oak Tree Towers and transition to a new economic plan.

“We just got to have that man power without having to go out and hire somebody,” Harris said. “We’ve been training them and working them and learning them about some occupancy stuff. So, we’re using all three staff and resident services to help us for the next three months, at least.”

While there may be a pause in programs, Harris said completing these administrative duties now will ensure more funding for future activities. Harris said programs will resume sometime in the fall.

“We’re expecting Hickory Valley to cash flow 100 to 120,000 dollars,” Harris said. “If we’re able to cash flow some of these new developments, we can fund raise these services. We can do more than what we are doing. (…) So, I think it is very positive for us down the road.”

Majority of the extra work is due to the housing authority adopting the Section 8 Housing Assistance Payments Assistance Program. Director of Operations Chris Cassetty said transitioning to the Rental Assistance Demonstration recommended by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development could take up to six months.

“Not only with all of the development that we have and with the RAD change, we got a housing authority to run, which is a full-time job to begin with,” Cassetty said. “But, RAD is hard on all of us, and it’s going to be for three, four, five, six months, but once we get through that change, I think things will be a lot smoother for everybody.”

Harris said the suspension will be communicated among stakeholders. Future discussion of the programs were added to next month’s agenda to ensure needs are met over summer.

In other business, the housing authority board approved applying for a $900,000 National Housing Trust Fund grant. If approved, those funds would be used to pay a portion of the civil work for Hickory Valley. The Rogers Group bid for that project was also approved in the same meeting.

In addition, five different resident policies were adopted as a part of the RAD transition. Harris said major changes include local preferences for residents.


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