CHRA Board briefed on public housing budget

This being budget season, the Board of Commissioners for the Charlottesville Redevelopment and Housing Authority are also getting ready for the next fiscal year. Their budget is being prepared with assistance from consultant Hayley Fetrow of HSF Consulting. Fetrow briefed the CHRA Board at a work session on Wednesday. (watch the work session)

“The goal of today is to provide you with an overview of the budgeting process,” Fetrow said. “And this year, interestingly, we have some new revenue lines that we’re getting additional levels of funding that we can talk a little bit about.” 

In addition to being a consultant, Fetrow is the director of a public housing authority in Medway, Massachusetts. Her firm specializes in helping financially troubled housing authorities. 

“We usually come in, help them reorganize, restructure, and really put best practices in place and the goal for us is provide a sustainable model for housing authorities going forward,”Fetrow said. “I think at Charlottesville we’ve had a varying opportunity to kind of help out in the finance department and it’s been exciting to have new staff come on in the last year with Mr. Sales.”

Mr. Sales is John Sales, who became the new executive director at CRHA last August. He had previously served as the city’s housing coordinator. One outcome of better recordkeeping has been the receipt of federal CARES funding to help tenants catch up rent due to lost wages, among other things.

One new line item in the budget will be a column that lists revenue from Charlottesville and other sources for redevelopment efforts.

“We can start to put these things down in writing and be clear about where we anticipate getting support from the city and other sources and how we anticipate spending them,” Fetrow said. 

Commissioners were taken through a full look at the details of the budget, and new systems that are being put in place to better manage the accounts. This is one way the agency might one day move on from troubled status.

“Charlottesville is really going to evolve in the next year or two with respect to budgeting and operations and how you manage this,” Fetrow said. 

A next step is to present the budget information to the public in community meetings. The draft budget should be available for review next week. Here’s John Sales. 

“Our first meeting is going to be on February 10,” Sales said. “One is at 4 p.m. and one is at 6 p.m. And then we have the Board work session which will be on the CFP budget on February 11 at p.m. And then we’re hoping to get Board approval on March 9.”

Source: City of Charlottesville

Community Engagement. In fact, this particular installment comes from the January 22, 2021 edition of the program. To ensure this research can be sustained, please consider becoming a paid subscriber or contributing monthly through Patreon.

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