Housing authority reaches out to tenants for input

GLOVERSVILLE — Gloversville Housing Authority officials detailed efforts to engage with tenants to increase resident involvement during Tuesday’s Board of Commissioners meeting.

GHA Executive Director Heather Reynolds reported that introductory visits to each of the authority’s buildings with new tenant relations assistant Debora Ambrosino last month were a success.

Reynolds and Ambrosino visited each building for just over an hour on Sept. 21 with refreshments for tenants to enjoy along with entertainment provided by an artist with Balloon Extravaganzas and a resident who joined the group in clown gear during the meet and greet sessions.

“That went well. We had a good turnout for all three locations,” Reynolds said, extending her appreciation to the resident for clowning around for the day.

“That was great,” agreed Resident Commissioner Diane Sauve.

An extended opportunity for residents to meet with Reynolds, Ambrosino and a member of the GHA maintenance staff to ask questions and offer comments was held at DuBois Garden Apartments on Saturday.

“We had a good turnout, we had seven tenants,” Reynolds said.

Meetings between the GHA staff and tenants will be scheduled at Forest Hill Towers and Kingsboro Towers in the near future.

Additional efforts have been made to promote resident engagement at the family housing complex, DuBois Garden Apartments, where Sauve is working with Reynolds and Ambrosino to form a tenant association. Active tenant associations already exist at the two senior housing buildings.

Board of Commissioners Vice Chair John Castiglione commended Reynolds and Sauve for their attempts to encourage resident involvement at DuBois.

“If we can continue to keep that going, hopefully get some of the folks that live here to come to some of our meetings, I think it will help them better understand what goes on and how we do things,” Castiglione said.

Castiglione pointed to the initiative as possibly encouraging a resident from DuBois to run for a seat on the board as a resident commissioner. In the past both a resident from the towers and a resident from DuBois have served as tenant elected board members.

Due to a lack of interest from DuBois residents during the previous election Sauve is currently serving as the lone tenant commissioner and so far no residents have expressed interest in running for election next year.

“Hopefully come April when it’s time for elections of officers to be on this board, we’ll get somebody from DuBois to step up to the plate and decide to run so they can then become part of the policy making process that goes on here,” Castiglione said.

“I’ll second that, that’s excellent, a good step forward,” said board Chair John Poling.