Town board to holds public meeting on housing program

UPDATED 12/10/09

The Rotterdam Town Board held a public hearing on the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program at the Rotterdam Town Hall on Wednesday, Dec. 12 at 7 p.m.

The program, which helps to provide rental and home assistance to low, very low and extremely low income households in New York State, according to the New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal's website. The program also helps senior citizens and disabled persons on fixed incomes, displaced families and homeless individuals with disabilities. The public hearing is open to all residents in Rotterdam and is the only public hearing set aside at the meeting tonight.

James Mastrianni, of Joseph E. Mastrianni, Inc., presented to the board an outline of the program including who is able to enroll in the program, how many people are enrolled in the program,and the five year PHA plan for 2010 through 2014. Currently, there are 240 voucher families in the program, exceeding the 236 limit of voucher, which Mastrianni stated is covered in the funding. Families in the Housing Assistance Payment Subsidy are given a rent based on the difference between the actual rent charged by the landlord and the amount subsidized by the program, which is calculated from the fair market rent for the area. Families can also move to any other community in the country that administers the program, allowing them portability. Finally, families can also look into home ownership through the Family Self-Sufficiency Program.

The program helps 1.5 million families nationally with 100% of the funding coming directly from the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development.

In other business, the town board voted on two separate resolutions to authorize Supervisor Steve Tommasone to execute a contract for ambulance service with the Rotterdam EMS and adopt a controlled substance and alcohol testing policy for employees of the town of Rotterdam."

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