June 3, 2009

Federal cash to help with housing rehab

The city plans to use $163,000 in federal stimulus cash to pump up its housing rehabilitation fund.

“We can certainly put it to use,” said Howard Schmelder, a Bristol Development Authority commissioner.

Given the rapidity with which residents tap into the BDA program to get money to fix up homes, the extra money should keep the program flush for an additional six to eight months, according to Debbie Shapiro, its coordinator.

Shapiro said the city has $200,000 allocated for the program during the next fiscal year, which begins July 1. The extra money would boost the tally to about $346,000.

The city can take $16,000 to cover its administrative costs, officials said.

City councilors will give their blessing tonight to the decision to put the extra stimulus money into housing rehabilitation.

The money could have flowed into other BDA programs, officials said, but using it for the popular housing fix-up fund made the most sense.

Shapiro said the city faced “a very short timeline” to detail its plans. A final decision had to be ready this week, only a couple of weeks after municipal leaders learned of the allocation.

Shapiro said the city has to spend the cash by 2012, but it won’t last anywhere near that long.

The city’s program offers help for low and moderate-income homeowners who need to repair roofs, replace furnaces and other housing-related expenses.

Grants are available to reimburse up to half of pre-approved costs for owner-occupied single and multi-family dwellings.

Matching grants can reach $5,000 for a single family home and as much as $9,500 for a four-family home. A family of four can earn up to $64,000 annually and be eligible for assistance.

Applications are available through the city’s website or by phoning the BDA office at (860) 584-6185. See this document online for more information.

Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.
Contact Steve Collins at scollins@bristolpress.com


Anonymous said...

While on the subject of housing, I'd really like to know why there have been 10+ apartments empty in the Dutton Heights housing project off of Wolcott St. for at LEAST the past 6 months or longer?? I'm sure there is a list of people that need section 8 apartments and for some reason it seems that the Bristol Housing Authority isn't filling them again when people move out. Why is this? Don't they get Federal and State funding and have to follow certain guidelines? Something doesn't seem right. Who's running that place? In this economy affordable housing is needed more than ever! Someone needs to look into this. I'm sure its the same on Lillian Rd and Davis Dr. As a citizen, I'm going to file a complaint with HUD if they don't get on the ball.I don't live there or need the housing, but many families do. I drive by them at work and honestly its been 6 to 12 months that some have been empty. It doesn't make sense.

Anonymous said...

The Power People are "running" the BHA (into the ground).

Anonymous said...


And Ward is letting them do it!

Anonymous said...

Not to mention that BHA charges you 30% of your gross income for rent. So a family of four making $35k total, would be paying $875 a month to live in a housing project...hardly a deal or "assistance". People that really need the help aren't getting it. It's not just bums and lazy people that don't want to work. Some folks really need the help due to job loss, medical emergencies, divorce, leaving an abusive home and even families that both parents work but only make minimum wage.God Bless America

Anonymous said...

Now we just need to find someone qualified to run the BDA and we will be all set!

Anonymous said...

5:00- Go for it, but your complaint won't go anywhere. Dutton Heights is currently slated to be completely renovated, and the Housing Authority is in their second round of application for funding to fund the project (tax credit applications typically take a few rounds before approval is granted). So it would make no sense to have people move in when they would have to be moved out in a year or two. Not to mention, the facilities are at a point where renovating them for a move-in costs more than the Housing Authority would expect to receive back in rental income by the time the rebuild takes place. I can assure you, all guidelines are being met.

And why don't you have a look at the turnover rates at Lillian Road and Davis Drive. The occupancy rates are outstanding.

Who runs the Housing Authority? A commission of average joe citizens who don't get paid a dime and do it out of civic duty. No "Power People," I can assure you.

If you're going to be an outspoken critic of something you don't understand very well, I'd suggest you get on the ball before assuming you've uncovered an instance of mismanagement.

Anonymous said...

9:51- Where exactly do you come from? 30% is the federal guideline for public housing, and it's the same everywhere. Financial advisers will tell you that 1/3rd of your income should go towards housing, and they offer this advice because most people pay significantly more than 1/3rd towards their rent or mortgage. For every person that thinks the government should do more, there's one that thinks government is doing (and spending) too much. That means we're right about in the middle, which is the ideal place to be.

Anonymous said...

5:00, Dutton Heights isn't section 8, it's project-based moderate income housing. Apply to become a commissioner next time there's a vacancy if you think you can run an organization better yourself.

Anonymous said...

9:51, hey whatdya want? There are people way worse off... at least you have $35k, and if you have that many kids you should have some support coming in from the State and the father(s) I'd hope. Maybe you shoul dhave done the math before you got yourself such a big family, because apparently now you want us (taxpayers) to shoulder your burden.

God Bless America.

Anonymous said...


No sense in explaining things to you if you think that there aren't "Power People" on the board

Anonymous said...

Units in Dutton Heights have been slated for renovation for several years. And subsequently units that have been emptied haven't been filled for up the past few years. BHA has told current residents who move out that they would have to reapply because the units would be offered at MARKET VALUE instead of as public assisted housing.

In addition the BHA is still paying money for operating costs to keep vacant units from being damaged through the year (keeping heat on to prevent bursting pipes, etc.)

It's true that there is no power play here but consider some of the people who have spent their time as commissioners. Gary Shaffrick for instance has run for public office in opposition to government social welfare spending, specifically the school free breakfast program in 2001. Until recently Schaffrick has been in charge of a social welfare program as chair of the BHA Board.

What's going on isn't just renovation, its privatization. And it's wrong.

Anonymous said...

12:58- that's not Bristol's choice, that's CT and HUD's choice for not offering sufficient assistance for housing authorities to redevelop their properties when they reach the end of their useful life. The only programs that are available require an immense amount of borrowing, which means there has to be some market rate component to a new development, but the whole thing would not be market rate, and eventually as the debt is paid off they could become affordable units as well. So yes, in a way it is privatization, but that's because no one is handing out free money to build public housing anymore.

So it's like an old car... do you keep throwing tons of money into it until it becomes an absolute disaster, or do you suck it up and get a new car and do what you have to do to pay for it?

And yes there are some expenses like a little heat in the winter, but it pales in comparison to the expense of renovating an apartment to code and then relocating someone when it's time to hit it with the wrecking ball. This is the more cost effective option.

Anonymous said...

12:41- ok, maybe one.

AnonymousWestconnStudent said...

12:58- that's not Bristol's choice, that's CT and HUD's choice for not offering sufficient assistance for housing authorities to redevelop their properties when they reach the end of their useful life.

This should not negate the commitment the community has made to support people who need public housing assistance.

And I'm curious as to how something can have a market rate component and yet not be market rate?

Anonymous said...

The expense of renovating an apartment up to code would be immensely easier if BHA kept enough maintenance people available to do the work while tenants are living in the units.

After Mr. Shaffrick became chair of the Board of commissioners he decentralized maintenance staff from the BHA main office into seperate offices for groups of developments. Strecthing the staff thin by providing only one or two maintanence persons per unit with very little cross over.

Running BHA into the ground isn't the fault of the people who live there it starts from the top down.

Anonymous said...

2:29- market rate component means some of the units are market rate, some aren't. As for the community's commitment, talk to the Mayor. Housing Authorities can't tax, they can only charge rent.

2:45- that wasn't Schaffrick's decision to make, that was a HUD mandate for all housing authorities to transition to what they call asset-based management. They didn't want to do it, but it wasn't a choice.

Not to mention, availability of staff has zero impact on the expense of apartment renovations. The cost is in materials and hours of labor, which should be roughly the same whether it's one guy working for ten hours or two guys for five hours.

And uh, where's the evidence that the Housing Authority is being "run into the ground?" This is news to me... their independent audits show no such findings, and they're the experts on whether a business is staying afloat or not. Define "run into the ground?"

Anonymous said...

If they receive funding from the State and HUD to provide housing to low/moderate income folks, then thats what they need to do! Its great the units will be remodeled, but how are they allowed to spend housing funds to renovate the units and then basically pull them off the market and rent to the middle class only at market value...which by the way would be at least $1300 a month? I don't understand. If BHA is going to do this then maybe they need to just sell the project to a private developer...like they did with Union St. There is a MAJOR shortage of section 8 and moderately prices housing in Bristol & CT in general. And if BHA is receiving funds to provide, Manage and Administer these funds, then they have the burden and responsibility to use the funds wisely and provide housing for as many folks as possible. Now is not the time to be messing around with special renovation projects. People need a place to live NOW. We are close to a depression and BHA decides to make 100+ units unavailable? From my understanding there are 2,000+ families on the BHA waiting list!! They need to do their job and provide more housing units in another location or at least issue more section 8 vouchers so folks can rent privately. And I agree, HUD needs to hear about this. Cut off their funding if they aren't going to use it wisely and give it to BCO or someone else who can actually do their job and help the community. Steve, sorry for hijacking your blog, I know BDA and not BHA was the original topic.

Anonymous said...

3:45- you just hate government don't you? Because you're grasping for straws.

Mixing market rate and affordable is a practice HUD invented. Only a few would be market rate in order to help BHA afford to provide low income rates for the rest of the units. Everybody's doing it, it's the only way to finance a rehab these days and DECD promotes it.

BHA doesn't create Section 8 vouchers, HUD does. BHA just administers them. BHA can't just say "hey let's fire up the printing press and print off another 1,000 vouchers this afternoon! Yee haw!" HUD provides the voucher funding, and BHA receives applicants and places them. Once again, it's not under BHA's control.

And what's this about 100 units offline? Try like 10. If you want to debate as to whether they should go forward with rehab or just leave the place in shambles so people at least have shambles to live in, that's a good debate to have... but you make it sound like BHA's committing some kind of criminal act and you're from outer space if you think HUD's going to strip them of ownership and hand it over to lord-knows-who for following THEIR directives!

If you want to hate the housing authority for no reason, just say it, or tell us the real reason you're so against them? What does HUD need to hear about, they monitor everything BHA does on a monthly basis so it's not like you're coming out of left field with some dirty inside information. You just disagree with the state of modern public housing. Join the club. But if you have some real, serious, legitimate advice, we'd all love to hear it.

Steve Collins said...

I don't mind the hijacking. This is actually a pretty interesting discussion.

Anonymous said...

Maybe if Shafrick would stop taking trips at BHA expense, they could do better at what they are supposed to be doing.

Anonymous said...

12:58- the new chair is a registered Dem, so let's hope that conflict of political philosophy is a thing of the past...

Anonymous said...

4:15- executives attend professional trainings and conferences. I wouldn't call it "trips." I think "professional development" is the correct term, and show me a major organization, public or private, with no professional development budget.

Anonymous said...

I didn't know that they had any professionals on the BHA board.

Anonymous said...

9:56, 4:09, 4:36, 3:26 it seems to me that you have the inside scoop so I imagine you are a BHA employees or commissioners? If so, then why don't YOU just say it?

For the record, no I don't hate the BHA or have a grudge against them. I did live in those project for 18 years as a kid and it's not hard for me to see that BHA isn't doing all they need to do in order to help those most in need. Meanwhile it doesn't seem like any of our leaders are doing a darn thing about it.

I noticed that you don't have a comment regarding the 2,000+ families that are on the BHA waiting list?? Why is that?
I understand HUD gives BHA the funding/vouchers to distribute. But who is making sure that these are going to the most needy and not the higher income folks that probably don't need the help as much?? I know for a fact that there are already residents living in that housing project who pay upwards of $1300 a month for rent on a two bedroom apartment.
It seems to me that maybe BHA is filling the apartments with only the moderate income folks in order to turn a profit instead of doing the right thing and giving the apartments to those most in need.
I may be wrong, but this is the appearance BHA is creating. When things are on the up&up, an org such as BHA should be concerned with the image they are projecting to the public and taxpayers...and make adjustments where necessary to make sure that we know you are doing all you can do. But instead the image you show us currently is a waste of money, not helping those in need to your greatest potential and overpaid executives.

My overall point here is that BHA can be doing more. They should be fighting for more funding, helping the poor find housing and trying to dwindle down the 2,000 applicants as quickly as possible. I know someone who only makes $23k and has 3 kids. They applied for BHA over 2 years ago. They've inquired about the status of their application via phone, letter and in person. Every time they are told that they can't be given any information as to the status of their application or even if they are in fact on a waiting list. Instead they are informed that "IF" they are chosen for an apartment, they will be contacted and they should not contact BHA anymore for the status.
Do you call this assistance? Leaving people in limbo and not helping them find alternatives or providing a status is considered assistance? It's very sad to see. Not to mention that BHA requires a credit check on residents. Do you really think that most low income folks have a good credit history?
I can understand checking criminal background checks and even trying to verify that these folks pay their rent on time at past residence. But denying people based on their credit report isn't very fair. Where are these people supposed to live?
I feel another agency would administer the housing program much more efficiently and help a lot more people than BHA does.
If BCO were in charge of BHA, they'd blow you guys away in performance....because they actually know how to help the community and those in need. They know how to solicit more funding when needed and raise funds in any means necessary to help the most people as possible. They know how to project a positive image and show those in need that they are there to help with open arms. Not that they are being hassled or put through bureaucratic red tape!
You folks should watch and learn from Tom Morrow and the entire BCO example. And in the meantime be ashamed of the mismanaged shambles that the BHA residents have to call home.

Anonymous said...


Here is a nice piece of information: "Please DO NOT CALL the Bristol Housing Authority. Information will not be provided on your status on the waiting list if you call." So basically people are left in limbo...like my friend has been for 2 years.

I wonder if the public knows that the BHA can't even have their maintenance crews cut the lawns or remove snow for the folks living at Dutton Heights and Lillian Road?? This is the only housing project that I've heard of which requires this. All the other projects have employees that take care of it.
But NOT in Bristol! Each tenant is expected to take care of their own lawns and snow removal or face fines and/or threatened with eviction if it is not done. I'm sure the low income folks moving in are just thrilled to learn that they have to buy a lawn mower and snowblower and take care of their property as if they were a homeowner. I'm sure they have the money to do so, right? Not to mention they will need a storage structure or shed to store this equipment.
BHA's overall image needs some editing and photoshop. But what do I know?

Anonymous said...

I think it would be nice if some of us admit that Davis Drive is not giving us as many headaches like they did in the past. You do not see Davis Drive in the police log that often anymore. They are doing better at getting more law abiding people into their projects. I for one don't think it is right to talk about their tenants like they are the worse thing ever. Any one of us can end up in low income housing. If not now maybe when we get older. I can see that they try very hard to provide opportunities for their tenants. If we want to see them continue to improve, we better acknowlege that they going in the right direction. Instead of blaming them for everything that it is wrong in Bristol.

Anonymous said...

Everybody's doing it, it's the only way to finance a rehab these days and DECD promotes it.

Define everybody?

How many other communities in CT are doing the same thing as BHA?

How many other communities have vacant units due to their waiting for permission to redevelop?

Is the redevelopment being mandated by HUD? Since it seems like in your responses that everything else is.

If it's the BHA's decision to pursue this redevelopment then there is some question as to whether or not its the right one. People may not like the state of public housing but that does not mean they don't have the right to say or do something about it.

And as far as some real, serious, legitimate advice here's some...provide affoardable public housing. Presenting this as a case of redvelopment vs. living in shambles puts the issues at two extremes when the real answer is probably somewhere in the middle.

It's not the job of public housing to run like a private business. Their job is to provide public housing!

Anonymous said...

I think it would be nice if some of us admit that Davis Drive is not giving us as many headaches like they did in the past.

Davis Drive may not be the problem now, but that doesn't mean that problems do not exist.

Anonymous said...

Davis Drive is a better place because the Bristol P.D. has cleaned it up and put extra patrols there day and night.
It's also better in part of the efforts BHA Commissioner Brian Suchinski has made. He is a Bristol Police Detective. Last I knew he was working with the State Narcotics Taskforce and I'm sure his efforts have helped clean up the drug dealing in that area.
I haven't seen Brian in many years, but I remember him as an outstanding person. His heart and soul are in his work. So kudos to him. But one commissioner doing their job won't do much unless all of them and the director do their parts to.
It's better because the Traffic Division made it a one way street. It's better because ESPN redid the baseball field. It's NOT better because of BHA. All BHA did was throw some paint on the buildings and some bars on the window....oh and build themselves a nice brand new executive office and meeting room. It's my understanding the commission meetings are all catered? Is it true the meeting minutes and agenda aren't always available for the public to view?? If so, why? My point is that there are a lot of unasnwered questions and people should demand answers and changes where necessary.

Anonymous said...

Do we know the results of this ethics probe? And people wonder why we question the BHA's ability to do what we expect of them. Another prime example:

Anonymous said...

7:05- Sounds like you want BHA to house every bum from here to Naugatuck. Cater to the lowest income people first? Hey, I'm a Bristol taxpayer and if that's the alternative, then I like BHA's image just the way it is! If you're eligible for housing, it should be first come first serve, with an exception for emergency situations.

And what's all this griping about having to plow your own driveway and mow your own lawn?!?! How bout I give every homeowner in Bristol a tiny little violin so we can all play it for you in unison.

Anonymous said...

I just finished reading all the blogs on the housing matter. Like it or not folks, gone are the days when state and federal governments established "Public Housing Assistance" for the "needy". The inventories of low income and moderate income housing units established by well meaning officials can no longer be sustained and maintained properly under the old rules. In the case of state moderate income units, the primary sourse of income has always been the rent residents pay to BHA.Allowing low income residents to reside in such units only contributes to the eventual deteriration of the units and the development. A fine balancing act has been done for many years by BHA to keep Dutton Heights and Zbikowski Park available for Bristol residents.The State of Connecticut which created these units has attempted to dispose of (sell) these units to the private sector years ago as they have in many cities. Bristol officials have opposed this move. Sounds like some of you think that should have been done? I wonder if the hundreds of former residents who used the "system" properly, as a stepping stone to home ownership think about it? Or BHA for that matter, what would they have done without all the headaches of trying to balance peoples housing needs with sensible management and maintenance of these units. Affordability, a very subjective word. When the state can no longer afford to fund a program such as the Technical School, they close it. I was always taught that it was my individual responsiblity to determine what it was I could afford and to adjust to unexpected occurances which we all have.I'd like to go on Steve but, I won't for now.My main point is we all look out a window and assume we are all seeing the same thing, but we are not. BHA like BCO are organizations which are groups of dedicated people trying to assist those in need of their services while others(the creators) constantly change the rules.Maybe we should all lighten up until we know all the "Facts"

Anonymous said...

12:49- Yes, Brian is a dedicated and talented public servant. No, the meetings are not catered; all that's provided are bottles of water. Yes, the minutes are always available at the Town Clerk's office and on the BHA website. http://www.bristolhousing.org/notices.cfm

There, unanswered questions solved. Next!

Anonymous said...

1:23- the link didn't work. And nothing came of the ethics probe (case closed, no finding of ethical violation, so the accused have the right to remain anonymous). The fact that BHA did conduct an internal ethics probe is a GOOD thing- it means the organization is properly governing itself and guarding against ethical violations by individuals, and they're even bold enough to make it public when they're investigating something within their own walls. But if there's no finding, then it remains sealed, just like if the police investigate someone but make no arrest; it never becomes public information.


Anonymous said...

6:06- please don't call them bums. God forbid it's you someday. BHA is there to serve those in need, but those needs have to be balanced with maintaining the financial solvency of the organization, maintaining a decent living environment, and minimizing impact on surrounding neighborhoods.

When you're not involved, it's real easy to just tell the world what you think reality should look like, and complain about it... but believe me, if the decisions were that easy, then it would have been long settled by now.

Please, ask questions, make suggestions, propose solutions... but the whole practice of insulting public officials first and asking questions later is ridiculous and it discourages good talented people from even considering trying to serve an eternally-ungrateful and derogatory public.

Some people pay more to insurance companies than they do to government (health + auto + homeowners), but you don't see folks ripping them apart every day for how they handle claims and spend their money, and how rich of a lifestyle their executives lead on your dime. People think it's ok because you can "choose" an insurance company... but good luck finding one that doesn't overpay their executives and screw over the occasional policy-holder. No one is getting rich off of being a public servant, and yet they catch the most heat. And you wonder why government can't recruit great talent?

Anonymous said...

But ultimately the question remains is BHA doing all it can to provide to people according to its mission? Is a redevelopment appropriate at this time with the economy the way it is? People may say the days of providing public assistance to the needy may be over. I disagree. Especially when you go to places where there are tent cities from families whose homes were foreclosed.

Turing these neighborhoods into private communiites doesn't help the people who need them the most. Because the people who need them the most don't have the money to live in a private owned dwelling.

If the board cannot see that then why are they on the board?

And if people posting here aren't being provided all the facts shouldn't we be made sure of that all the facts are provided?

Anonymous said...

1:09- that's short-sighted management. A redevelopment takes many many years. When the project started, the economy was rebounding from the 2003 recession. By the time it's done, we could be well past this current recession (maybe 2-3 years from now). For BHA to put the brakes on such a huge project because of the economy woul dbe a waste of all the money that's already been invested into this project. And you're still seriously missing the point... just because a handful of units will be rented at market rate does not make it "private housing." If anything, maybe having some hard-working folks nearby will give the low income people some positive influence to get back on their feet.

And put simply, we live in CT. We're not at the point of "tent city" and the BHA would be insane to try to go that route. Who wants Bristol to be the homeless capital of Connecticut?!?! That's what happens when you offer cheap deteriorated facilities instead of nice (yet still well below market rate) units.

I strongly disagree that BHA's mission is to "House as many utterly destitute people as physically possible." It is "To Provide Safe, Decent and Affordable Housing for Persons of Low and Moderate income for the Bristol Region." If BHA turned their back on the moderate income people of need, it would not only be a terrible blow to the quality of the community, but it would go against their very mission to provide for low AND moderate. And Dutton Heights is bordering on not being decent anymore. I think the project is perfectly in line with the mission.

As for more info being provided... I agree. That is a good suggestion.

Anonymous said...

6:06- I disagree. Renters should NOT have to mow their lawn or remove snow!! I don't care if you
are in a private rental or public housing rental. It's the Landlords job...plain and simple. And if you own a home, great for you. You are responsible for the upkeep of YOUR property in which you own. Renters don't own the property so why should they have to do the upkeep?
That would be like renting a car from Enterprise and them telling you that you need to change the oil and rotate the tires!! Does anyone have common sense in this Town....besides Steve? :)

7:54- I agree, Brian is a great public servant. Thanks for the other info, but you STILL have not answered a few questions.
1)What is being done about the 2,000+ families on the BHA waiting list? This is an extremely high number and I don't understand how it seems to be getting ignored and not addressed.

2) Don't you think the system is flawed that these folks can't even get some sort of timeline, confirmation or status of their applications? The red tape is just crazy. Even the Dept. of Social Services does a better job at keeping those that apply for assistance well informed of their
status...and DSS is probably one of the States biggest red tape offenders....although trying to get answers or get through to the DMV isn't to fun either, lol. So basically, what is being done to help these folks? Can't BHA try a little different approach to help as many families as possible?
Lastly, why are the residents required to mow their own lawns and do snow removal? This should be included in the rent.

Anonymous said...

8:11- Ok, the waiting list... I don't know what BHA can do about that other than turn over vacant properties as quickly as possible (with the exception of properties slated for demolition, of course). There are no opportunities to get the kind of funding you need to acquire new land and build whole new projects... but eyes and ears are open.

The lawn thing? 6:06 was insensitive and I don't agree with that, but here's the thing... there are a few things landlords are legally required to provide according to health and building code. Beyond that, the respective responsibilities of the landlord and the tenant are spelled out in the lease agreements. Long long ago it was decided that, because Dutton Heights are kind of like little rental houses, tenants would agree to maintain the properties. Every tenant there signed on the dotted line. If they didn't like it, they could have refused.

I know what you're thinking, most of those folks probably had no choice but to take what they could get, but I hate to use the adage "beggars can't be choosers." But I guess I just did. Put simply, if BHA took on that SIGNIFICANT additional responsibility, the rents would go up. There's no getting around that. And I think residents would prefer the low rents over the added service...

And to be completely frank, the additional level of tenant responsibility is kind of a good thing because in a way it's giving them something to look after. This isn't elderly or disabled housing, it's family housing, so I don't see why taxpayers need to subsidize people not even wanting to lift a hand to pitch in a little. In private housing, you're paying full boat, but this is cheap cheap public housing... cheap even for public housing standards. A deal's a deal.

Why should taxpayers have to subsidize every aspect of their living situation without expecting ANY effort from them? I just don't believe in people kicking back and getting freebies for life on the public dime... I know a lot of people feel differently but that's why we have a two-party system.

Anonymous said...

8:11- oops, almost forgot the application status question. With 2,000 people on the waiting list, you can see why office staff can't keep them all up to date... and the problem is, you get abusers who want to check their status every two weeks and it becomes a real drain on the office's ability to fulfill its other responsibilities. Without going into detail, however, a more modern resolution is in the works.

Anonymous said...

To: 9:44/10:37/Brian and/or Gary :-)

Thanks for the response. Most of it makes sense. And I do have to agree that maybe the residents taking care of their property gives them a better sense of pride and makes them work a little in return for a lower rent. From the early age of 8 until I was 18 I made a ton of money mowing lawns and shoveling snow in that neighborhood, as well as being the Bristol Press carrier of the year 3 times during that time. (Ans yes Steve I still have the Trophies I won, lol), Anyway, I agree that taking care of the property where we rented allowed us to prepare to own a home and give us a sense of how it would be...it took 18 years, but my parents did finally get a house of their own. My point was that some of the folks that move in there find it to be a big financial burden to buy a lwan mower and other equipment necessary. Maybe BHA can try to set up some sort of fund or have a way for people there to get second hand equipment to make it a little easier for them? Maybe even have a community set of tools and have one of the trustworthy residents be in charge of lending them out. Afterall, none of us can get any sort of job done if we don't have the proper tools. My point is that little things can be done by BHA and the community in general to improve and make things a little easier for these people. And as a result I think the community as a whole will benefit from it in the longrun. Most people living there want to better themselves and don't want to live there forever. If we give them the help,support and opportunity to do so, then they will take hold and make the improvements. What they need is a hand up, not a hand out.

I hope the new and improved application process will come soon and be a success, because it is very unsettling for folks to not know where they stand, especially when they need assistance.

Steve, I think this turned into an informative and civil discussion afterall. There is still much room for improvement,by BHA and the Community, but at least we know where we stand and why some things are the way they are.

Anonymous said...

10:55- You're very welcome, and I think you have some valid ideas that deserve consideration. Thanks for the engaging discussion. :)