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April 7, 2013

Public housing feeling sting from sequester

New Albany Housing Authority’s 2013 budget cut by 18 percent

(Continued)

NEW ALBANY — BEHIND THE NUMBERS

As far as federal funding goes, the reduction to the NAHA budget is closer to 30 percent.

Rent payments from public housing residents were estimated to bring in about $2.26 million this year, with U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development subsidies to account for the remainder of NAHA’s $6.1 million 2013 budget. According to the NAHA, the organization has about $1.8 million in annual expenses related to utilities and property insurance that it cannot control. That leaves about $4.3 million for this year in operating costs primarily tied to maintenance, protective services and administration costs.

Lane recently traveled to Washington, D.C., to meet with Indiana congressmen about the public housing cuts. He said most of the conversations were centered around regulations and “red tape,” which he said drive up expenses for public housing agencies.

“You can’t operate with unfunded mandates,” Lane said.

According to NAHA, no local or state dollars are required to operate the organization’s programs.

The sequester hasn’t yet affected NAHA’s plan to reconfigure the 512 units and more than 50 buildings that comprise Broadmeade Terrace, Parkview Towers and Parkview Terrace. The three complexes adjacent to Bono Road embody the largest continuous public housing site in Indiana, according to Lane.

The $60 million project would primarily be funded through tax credits and could start next year.

SO YOU KNOW

Public housing history

• The New Albany Public Housing Authority launched in 1937.

$9,982

• The annual average income of NAHA residents as of 2013, according to the organization.

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Judy Lunsford works on a lesson plan for her students with fellow teachers, Ellen Rothstein and Adam Stephens, in her classroom at Northaven Elementary in Jeffersonville Wednesday afternoon. Lunsford, a new addition to Northaven, will be teaching second grade.

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