Friday, January 9, 2009

Housing authority revisits contracts

Housing board may charge fees for rentals

Express Staff Writer

Tenants of price-controlled rental units might face a new set of fees. The fees are in preliminary plans discussed recently by the Blaine County Housing Authority.

The group's new executive administrator, Kathy Grotto, said the fee proposal is part of discussions with the cities of Hailey and Ketchum about contracts with the housing authority.

Staff with the housing authority have been scrutinizing the details for the draft contracts with the cities for some time, said Grotto. She said the new contracts will reflect the lack of available funding.

As part of their suggestions to the authority board, Grotto said, staff were recommending the charging of administrative fees for affordable housing units.

"There had not been one established in the past," she said.

Preliminary plans call for charging the tenants of price-controlled rentals the equivalent of half of the first month's rent when they set foot in the unit and $200 each year after.

The contracts with the two cities specify what services the authority provides them, such as maintaining their list of applicants for affordable housing units. Grotto said the new contract with Ketchum will be more specific and will reflect the city's closer relationship with the ARCH Community Housing Trust.

Grotto said the new contract with Hailey is not as far along. She said the housing authority was scheduled to meet with Hailey officials on Thursday to discuss the new contract.

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