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WHA's UP

April 2017 Edition 201704

Changes in Maintenance

Yahola and Hicks have been busy trying to get us caught up on our make readies and maintenance issues. Christopher Lunsford (some of you may know him better as Prince) has been offered a job opportunity elsewhere that sounds really great for him and he has chosen to take it. I and the rest of WHA's staff want to wish him the very best. He is still around Wetumka and he continues to be a WHA tenant. If you see Chris thank him for his contribution to WHA over the last 1+ years. There were several times when he was the only Maintenance man we had so he held things together until we could get more help.

Maintenance Telephone Emergency Number

Lewis Yahola is carrying the WHA Maintenance cell phone now. So if you have an EMERGENCY after hours, weekends, or on a holiday call 405.380.8171. Yahola will either respond himself, or he will get someone to assist you. Remember, this is for emergencies only as we are not staffed nights, weekends, or holidays. A response is from home, on the employee's off time, and costs time and a half. If your situation can wait until the next business day, please call the office at 405.452.3444 anytime 24/7. If we are open we'll answer the telephone. If it is after hours, just leave a message on the answering machine. We will get right on the issue the next working day.

Vacating Units

Please plan your move and be prompt in vacating your unit. Delaying your move out ties up a valuable resource and costs WHA money. Rent continues until you turn in the keys to your unit. Also, don't forget to call the utilities (especially ONG) and have the utilities returned to WHA's name. Just request a meter readout and have it put in WHA's name. The extra expense for having WHA move your utility for you is taken from any security refund due you. It is an unnecessary expense you could have avoided.

Pets and Pet Deposits

By WHA policy, a dog is not to be outside of your unit unless it is under the physical control of a member of the household (ie. on a leash) at all times. That individual is supposed to ensure that 1) the dog does not bite or threaten anyone, 2) if the dog defecates to clean up after it promptly and 3.) to keep the dog off of your neighbor's porch and yard furniture. Note - Pet owners must an up after their pets and they are responsible for properly disposin2 of the pet's waste. We are also seeing animals around units that have not paid a pet deposit. If you have acquired a pet and not paid your pet deposit that is a violation of your lease and could get you evicted. WHA allows SMALL dogs. Large dogs are not grandfathered just because they were once small as puppies. Please help us get the pets under control. The city has responsibility for animal control. Note: The City of Wetumka now has its kennel up and running. WHA will be reporting such animals to be picked up and you are encouraged to call in stray animal complaints yourself to City Hall.

Social Security Letters

Remember that recertifications are an annual event. Please save all letters from the Social Security Administration, your pension plans, annuities, or other sources of income so that we can justify to HUD how we calculated your rent based on your income.

If You Should Find Work

If you should find work please let the office know at your earliest convenience and then provide copies of your first couple of paychecks. Government assisted housing is simply that - assistance. WHA rent, for the individual, is based on their income (with certain government allowed exemptions). Do not find yourself suddenly in debt because your income changed and you did not notify us. Past due rent is calculated on the income change date, not just when you let us know. It can add up quickly.

Yard Maintenance

Even with Chris Lunsford's departure WHA will be doing the yards weather permitting. We will probably use a contractor initially. Please keep your yard toys and furniture on your patios so the yard work can get done promptly. Thanks.

HUD Supported Public Housing Has Gone Smoke Free as of 2/3/2017

On November 30, 2016 HUD Secretary Lourdes Castro Ramirez made a public announcement that all 3,100 Public Housing Agencies. (WHA is one of them) and Tribally Designated Housing Entities (TDHE) will become smoke free in 2017. The ruling was implemented effective February 3, 2017. The official position will be that no one is allowed to have., hold, or possess a lighted cigarette, cigar, pipe, or a tobacco product inside any Housing Authority, vehicle, office, or living unit. Marijuana is already illegal and should not even be considered. Wait, it gets worse. There is to be no smoking within 25 feet of the entrance to any HUD supported building, including storm shelters. That eliminates all porches as well. (Note, you can smoke in your personal vehicle even if it is inside the 25 foot boundary). Don't panic though. For now, HUD is granting a transition period. WHA has until August 3, 2018 to get into complete compliance with the new law. It is a LAW, as established by HUD who owns the housing you live in and is totally out of WHA's, the City, or anyone local's control.

I will be developing a transition timeline shortly and sharing with everyone who calls WHA home. Initially it will be pretty laid back because everyone is waiting to see if the new Administration will modify, or nullify, the current directive. Barring that, WHA will take steps to keep everyone in compliance such as marking 25 feet from all doors, putting up signage around the units reminding you and your guests that the units are No Smoking, the Board of Commissioners will have to make a decision on whether to make WHA No Smoking from curb to curb (in other words, not even in the yards but would require people to smoke either in the street or across the street) as some PHAs are going this far and HUD is supporting them. The Commissioners will also have to make a decision on the consequences of violating the law.

Renter's Insurance (Recommended)

Concerning fires, flooding, etc., WHA does not insure the contents of its units which belongs to tenants. That is private property. That is the responsibility of the tenant. You decide to have it, or not have it independent of WHA. Be prepared for whatever may come by being insured to help with the cost of replacement, or repair of furniture, clothes, appliances, etc. You own it, you protect it.

HUD Inspection

The HUD pre-inspection is currently scheduled for May 18, 2017. While this is a preparatory inspection it is an inspection of 100 % of our units. All of them, including yours. So be cleaning your units and let us know if there are any problems in your unit so we can get it ready. This may be a pre-inspection but it is still important. Remember May 18,2017 - it is a Thursday and it is just over 2 weeks away. More to come.

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