BHA: Today Is Last Day to Mail Housing Applications

By Judith Scherr
Friday September 28, 2007

Today (Friday, September 28) is the last day for eligible persons to put their applications in the mail for the two available units of Berkeley’s public housing, Berkeley Housing Authority Director Tia Ingram reminded the BHA board at its Wednesday evening meeting. 

Noting that 17 people had mistakenly hand-delivered applications to the BHA office, Ingram said these people must resubmit the applications by mail. All applications must be postmarked by today, Sept. 28.  

BHA received three applications postmarked before Sept. 24; they are ineligible. (Those applicants can resubmit the applications as long as they are postmarked by today, Ingram said.) BHA will not be alerting those who have misfiled their applications. 

“The first day [applications were available] we went through 2,000 applications,” Ingram reported, describing a line of people that circled the block at the housing authority. The central library ran out of forms and they were resupplied, she said. 

Most city offices are closed today. However, applications will be available today at the housing authority office at 1901 Fairview St., and at the Center for Independent Living, 2539 Telegraph Ave., the East Bay Community Law Center, 2921 Adeline St., Centro Legal de la Raza, 2501 International Blvd. and the Asian Resource Center, 310 Eighth St. 

There are two available homes, rather than the three originally available, because one family is transferring from one of the 14 state-owned low-income homes, according to Ingram. That home will become available under a different process. 

In other BHA business, Ingram informed the board Wednesday evening that it cannot contract out for janitorial services, as it had planned to do. The city has an agreement that its unionized workers must do the job.  

“I believe it’s significantly less cost” to contract outside the city, Ingram said, noting that BHA would be permitted to contract out after June 2008. Board member Marjorie Cox suggested BHA ask the city to donate custodial services, which amount to about $42,000 annually.  

Ingram announced that a team from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Inspector General’s Office would be at the Berkeley BHA offices next week to do an investigation relative to charges made by City Attorney Manuela Albuquerque in May 22 and June 6 memos alleging improper allocation of Section 8 vouchers by housing staff and other charges of staff improprieties.  

The board approved Ingram’s appointment of tenants to the Public Housing Resident Advisory Council, a body that must be in place to approve BHA’s Annual Plan, which is in the works. Approval of the plan by a tenant committee is required by HUD.