At last night’s meeting of the Charlottesville Redevelopment and Housing Authority, one Commission noted that there is a great deal of unpaid rent on the agency’s books.
“We have roughly a third of our public housing residents not paying their rent,” said John Sales, the CRHA’s executive director.
In all, the CRHA is owed about $100,000 in back rent but Sales said that’s not the only financial hit public housing takes as a result because a federal match cannot be made.
“And CRHA is not receiving the rental subsidy on it which negatively impacts the overall financial standing of the housing authority,” Sales said.
The CRHA has been redirecting other funds towards covering the shortfall with grant funding covering April, May and half of June from last year. Sales said continuing lack of rent payment continues to trouble the federal government.
“[The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development] is calling it out at every meeting and asks where we are doing to address it,” Sales said.
The CRHA’s fiscal year ends on March 31. Sales said the agency is hiring an eviction prevention coordinator and housing stabilization position soon to work with families.
“There is a policy now where the housing authority has to work with the families before moving forward with any eviction proceeding to at least get them to attempt to get the rent relief program,” Sales said.
Sales said eviction is a last resort. The average rental payment is $247 a month and the monthly operating expense to run CRHA is currently $265,927. HUD considered CRHA to be a “troubled” agency and there will be an audit on March 16.
At the meeting, former Charlottesville Mayor Nikuyah Walker was officially appointed to serve on the CRHA’s redevelopment committee in an at-large capacity.
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