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GHA seeks to boost occupancy

GLOVERSVILLE — Gloversville Housing Authority Interim Executive Director Damaris Carbone since taking on the job at the end of December has turned her sights to boosting occupancy rates, meeting staff training requirements and ensuring agency compliance with federal public housing guidelines.

Carbone reported current occupancy rates across GHA properties of 92.52 percent during Tuesday’s Board of Commissioners meeting with occupancy at Forest Hill Towers at 94.5 percent, DuBois Garden Apartments at 91.76 percent and Kingsboro Towers at 92.52 percent.

“We try to stay at a 95 percent occupancy rate or above so when it starts to dip below that we try to make a plan and work with both occupancy and maintenance staff to see where we can increase that occupancy. So I’m working with both departments now to see where we can improve,” said Carbone.

Due to the number of vacant units currently awaiting attention from maintenance staff before they are made available to prospective tenants, Carbone said she prepared a request for proposals seeking contractors to perform needed maintenance and cleaning that should be issued in the coming days.

A related RFP soliciting painting services to prepare vacant units was previously prepared and is also due to be sent out for bid.

Additionally, Carbone reported that administrative staff at the GHA will fulfill training requirements utilizing computer based software through the HTVN Network offered by the HAI Group, an organization serving public and affordable housing communities. She noted that the majority of the training services are provided at no cost and any training that grants required certifications for a fee can be accessed by the GHA at a discounted rate.

Carbone is also working with authority staff members to increase use of the agency’s Public Housing Authority web software to promote procedural uniformity at the GHA.

Agency compliance with U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development regulations has been another area of focus for Carbone, with Designated Housing Plans for Forest Hill Towers and Kingsboro Towers prepared and submitted to HUD earlier this month. Carbone reported that documentation approving two year re-designations through HUD was returned last week, running through March 2022.

Reviews of agency policies by Carbone and GHA Attorney Anthony Casale are currently underway to ensure compliance with HUD rules and regulations with proposed updates to be presented to the Board of Commissioners.

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