CITY WIDE RESIDENT MEETINGS

The City-Wide resident meeting was held on November 20, 2010 at the Moose Lodge in Ventura, and was a huge success. Below is a list of questions and answers from residents and by the Housing Authority staff.


1) Who elected our RAB representatives? Were section 8 residents involved in this process? This is the first time that I know about a committee existing.

Public Housing units are the ones that are governed by 24cfr964 which gives them the right to have a duty elected body. To make sure everyone is representative we have expanded that to include residents who are in Section 8. If a majority of Section 8 residents are interested in electing your representatives and are willing to fully participate we will hold an election process, but only if you are all willing to participate. Please contact Barbara Chavez to express your interest in this matter.


2) I have lived in Section 8 since Nov 2004. This is the first time I have heard of an elected council. I have never received noticed from the Housing Authority about this. How is this information disseminated? 

Information about the elected council and any other events can be found at the central office, and are also posted throughout many billboards located in our units. For more information contact your manager.


3) In the interest of recycling can each AMP have a storage area for waste collectivity?  

We will be working with our recycle/waster company to provide a monthly solution for our residents.


4) What are my chances of getting on the self-sufficiency program if I’m on conventional housing?  

For information about getting on the self-sufficiency program, please contact Melinda Comeau at 648-5008 Ext. 2251 or you can email her at mcomeau@hacityventura.org    

5) Why is there are limited time allotted to finding a rental unit that will accept Section 8  

The Housing Authority gives a limited time allotted to finding a rental unit due to the increase number of people requesting housing aid. We cannot let a person hold on to a voucher forever with such a long waitlist, therefore we give a person ample time to look for a unit.  


6) The Residents Handbook was last updated in 2003, how are the residents to know the new policies between 2003 and 2010?

We are currently in the process of updating the Residents Handbook. The update will be available in 60 days. The handbooks will be available at the central office and the property manager’s office.


7) I like to know more about the council board and the mayor of Ventura County and the Police Department. Where can I find this information?  

The resident council (RAC) is the voice of the resident population. It must represent the people which is has promised to represent. They must have a set of by laws that govern there operations. They must have regular scheduled meetings.  Elections for the resident council happen every three years.  For information about the Mayor and Police department please visit the City of Ventura Official webpage.


8) I came from the Oakland Housing Authority as a resident. Their congressman, senators and other politicians seemed very supportive of their Housing Authority. They really support and advocate for their Authority’s pursuit of funding. Can you comment on how you advocate for your subsidized housing constituents?

The Housing Authority cannot be successful without the full support of the local elected officials especially the congressional delegation. We get exceptional support from the city council, they have supported us in everything we have done. We have made an effort to move away from only depending on the funding of HUD to becoming a true Affordable Housing leader. Everyone from our congressman to our senators have been extremely supportive in trying to get different funding. For example, they were supportive in making sure for the first time in many decades that the operation subsidy, which is the subsidy that is put in place to give aid to residents who live in public housing, was fully funded.


9) How will the implementation of 24CFR964 impact our AMP boards and me as a resident?

24CFR964 guarantees each of the residents in public housing the right to organize, and to be engaged in all aspects of the Housing Authority. By engage it means you are not responsible for the management or operations but it gives you’re the right to voice your opinion, the right to help decide what policies will be put in place.


10) How do you remove a site manager when they are acting in violation of housing rules?

Everyone has rights that include residents and the employees of the Housing Authority. If you believe that a manger has done something that is in violation of what they should do, first report that person to their boss who is Letty Juarez. That will begin an internal evaluation of all the accusations you have made, and we will work hard to determine what it is that really happened. A decision will be made, and if you are not happy with that decision then escalate it to the next level. If the matter doesn’t get resolved then please come see me (Ed Moses). Keep in mind, we cannot just take your word, we have to fully investigate both sides before we make a decision. If any of our employees do something that is inappropriate it will be address, the same is for a resident.


Buenavida Senior Village

11) I would like to know if there is a system in place by which we can start renting out a house and eventually become ours in the future?

We will work towards helping all residents improve their lives. Resident Services will help provide programs so that essentially you can go and buy your own place in the future.


12) What is being done about smoking in our units? All this smoke is harmful to our kids and adults.

HUD sent out a notice 2 yrs about having non-smoking buildings and having a smoke free public housing. There are a lot of housing authorities that are doing this already. We are currently working with the County. There is a meeting to be schedules next week with two managers because we are going to start a pilot program soon. We will offer a designated area for smokers.


13) What part of the housing area “belongs” to a resident? And what should you do if a child/person is on your property?

It is the responsibility of the property managers to sit down with you and explain all boundaries, rules and regulations concerning units when you first come into housing. Any units that have a patio, the patio is the responsibility of the tenant. Any problems or concerns should be raised and brought up to your property manager.


14) Is It possible to place a coin machines in the laundry rooms?

Yes we can look at providing a coin machine at the properties. We will also have to take into consideration the question of vandalism.


15) Our patio is very open to noise and traffic. If he hedge was allowed to grow taller it would eliminate some of the problems. Jo Root said she would build a wall if there was enough money for it. But a wall would make the patio hotter and is an unnecessary expense. What can be done?

The Housing Authority creates a plan every 5 years. We look into what big repairs are needed in our developments. Some of our developments are older than others. We need to make sure that our developments are in compliance first before looking at cosmetic changes. Anything that has to do with safety is first priority. Anything cosmetic will be considered when we have flexibility.


16) Is it realistic to have only could water in the laundry room? It would save money and most laundry detergents are made for it?

The system at Johnson is a dual system. This would be a matter of preference, we will look into it. Keep in mind if we do it for one client we would also have to see if it’s a preference with others as well.


17) When will Westview Village Residents begin to return after the remodel?

Westview (AMP 1) is the largest development in Ventura. This project will take 9 or 10 years. Our plan is to develop it in phases. We will start by demolishing 40 apartments in the western corner. These residents will also be the first to live in the new apartments. We have been working with Celia to inform residents who are located there. First phase will start in 2012 and finish approximately 2 years after that. We will fully relocate residents in accordance with the relocation act while minimizing the discomfort of moving.


18) 9620 was at one time Sr. & disabled only, but now we have become a mixture of adults with many challenges: bipolar, physical, mental, near homelessness, is this being taken into consideration and what is currently being done to help?

I have my team working on a package to send to HUD in trying to make some of our senior housing only for seniors. We are trying to do that right now, but we are still working on it, but as soon as we have that ready we will be sending it to HUD.


19) Will the VHA help with the homeless situation in the City of Ventura?

One of our partners, the Ventura Social Services Task Force is dedicated to ending homeless. For more information please visit their website at: http://www.vsstf.org/


20) Can the Police Department answer calls to 9620? Or 9050?

If you see a crime in progress, first thing to do is to call the authorities and at the same time let the Housing Authority know, because your concerns are our concerns. Together we can make our communities safer.


21) What are your plans for us disabled residents in the future regarding housing conditions?

There are two projects that are universal accessible. %10 of units are ADA accessible as part of the city code. We are working on a development in midtown Ventura geared towards people with disabilities. If you need a ramp or anything else please let us know


22) If I have items such as windows or water heaters that would be good to fix but not necessary, is there a program that could help my landlord with those repairs?

The Housing Authority cannot enforce cosmetic upgrades or repairs. The Housing Authority can only ensure that all units that are being occupied by residents meet housing standards. If you notice something that is going bad or will require fixing in the future, please let your landlord know.


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