By Harry Kane
The Somerville Housing Authority received an additional $98,723 in fiscal 2012, which will help pay for property maintenance.
The result: More improvements for low-income, elderly and disabled SHA housing.
The money is used to make the repairs to the properties. The Somerville Housing Authority allocates the funds for roofs, heating systems, window replacements, security systems, lights and more.
Deputy Director of the Housing Authority Paul Mackey said that the funds for improvements were in decline until this year.
“This year, because they reached a high performance status, we received almost $100,000 in additional capital funds,” said Mackey.
Each year all of the federal properties receive two pools of subsidies: one is an operation subsidy, which helps pay for administrative costs, and a second pool of money is allotted to do capital improvements for maintaining the properties. This second subsidy is called the Capital Fund Program.
The public housing authority, a division of the U.S. Department of Housing and Development, is annually measured for its effectiveness. This year the public housing assistance system score was rated a high performer.
“We’re really fortunate,” said Mackey. “They incentivize you to maintain and really keep your properties in good repair, and we do, so a large part of how we score well is by keeping our properties in good repair.”
Last year’s budget for the Somerville Housing Authority was $731,179. The budget for 2012 is $829,902.
Senior Housing developments, like the one on Jaques Street, could be on the receiving end of this additional capital if the housing authority obtains the contract, says Ron Bonney, Chairman of the Board at The Somerville Housing Authority.
According to Bonney the development on Jaques Street needs replacements on some of their windows. “That will go out to bid and hopefully the housing authority will receive the contract,” he said. “The benefit would be for the residents to cut down on heating utility costs.”