The Housing Authority is committed to performing the 10 basic functions of a housing authority:
1. Preserve Existing Affordable Units
A redevelopment and housing authority can directly preserve and own apartments and land in Harrison for the benefit of citizens, including underserved groups, such as: current and future low income residents, the elderly, young families, and disabled people.
Overall, the prices of rental units in the area have gone up and the quality has gone down.
2. Be a Vehicle for Self-Sustained Financing
The authority can issue long-term tax-exempt bonds to finance the acquisition of low-income housing, which can then be paid off over time through rents paid by the tenants. In cooperation with HOME and HUD programs, we can work with down-payment assistance, home owner rehabilitation, and much more that will serve the community for years to come.
3. Act as a Land Trust
The authority may serve as a land trust to facilitate the city’s development plan. The authority can help control and direct development, preserving historical integrity and green space in accord with the city’s plan. There are potential income, estate, and property tax benefits for land donations to a public trust.
4. Operate Subsidized Housing Units
The authority can directly receive Federal Government funding to build and operate subsidized housing and receive rent subsidies.
5. Streamline the City’s Response to Low Income Housing Crisis
The housing authority provides an open public process that involves citizens right from the beginning, opens development decisions to citizen input, and reduces waste and duplication in Harrison’s scattered housing programs.
The authority would coordinate the city’s response to the low-income housing crisis.
6. Protect Renters & Landlords
A housing authority can require rental inspections to ensure that the rental unit is up to standard code and that property offered for rent is habitable. The Housing Authority can help establish and maintain a standardized inspection policy that each rental property must pass.
This process could ensure safe and sanitary housing conditions to the Citizens of Harrison This also gives protection to the Landlord, because if anything is damaged by the renter and identified as such, then the Renter can be legally obligated to pay for repairs and fees that such landlord takes. This also gives piece of mind to the renter knowing they are living in a safe dwelling. Landlords who do not comply may not rent out their property until the inspection process has been satisfied or their dwelling is up to code.
7. Finance Nonprofits that Operate Affordable Housing
An authority can directly operate and finance apartment units too large for the small existing nonprofit housing providers in Harrison or provide financing to existing nonprofit organizations to operate housing in furtherance of a city plan.
The authority can help area programs that focus on emergency and transitional food and shelter, afterschool programs, job training, and other essential services find and gain access to grant monies.
8. Facilitate Cooperation Among Groups Providing Affordable Housing
A housing authority reduces needless duplication among existing nonprofit housing organizations in Harrison that end up competing for a small, inadequate funding. A public authority could insure and preserve affordable housing throughout the City, and avoid potential clustering of properties by nonprofits acting alone in certain neighborhoods.
9. Advocate for Affordable Housing
The housing authority will be a public advocate to place long-term capital needs for preserving land and rental housing in Harrison squarely in the middle of other local government capital projects, such as building schools, recreation facilities, roads and libraries. Local governments currently budget nothing to acquire, develop or preserve rental housing.
10. Encourage Creation and Promotion of Neighborhood Organizations
The authority will encourage neighbors to work together to create better environments. Neighborhood groups can take responsibility for neighborhood projects, such as cleanups, boundaries, community improvements, and safety issues. Neighborhood groups can identify and deal with many of the essential needs of their communities. The Housing Authority will maintain friendly contact with the city’s neighborhood groups, offering technical help and advice.