|North Adams Housing Authority Has Full Board |
|By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff|
01:22AM / Tuesday, December 19, 2017
|The newly constituted Housing Authority board met for the first time since October.|
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — With new state appointee Christine Naughton, the North Adams Housing Authority once again has a full board.
"As our first order of business I would like to welcome Christine to the commission," Chairman Matt Neville said Monday. "I am happy to have a full board again."
With the departure of Patricia Wol, who had been appointed by the governor's office last January, and member Coltan Andrews, the Housing Authority has had difficulty achieving a quorum. Because of this, there was a stretch of months during which meetings were regularly canceled.
With new member Colin Todd and Naughton, the Housing Authority can move forward with initiatives such as finally dissolving Housing Opportunities Inc.
For the past few years, the Housing Authority's board members, who also comprise the board of HOI, have been trying to dissolve the housing program -- deemed largely a failure -- and transfer its assets to the city.
HOI turned over the Flood House to the Louison House shelter early last year and transferred its remaining properties to the city in April
with the exception of the former Sun Cleaners at 111 River St., which the city was hesitant to accept without an environmental survey.
Housing Authority Executive Director Jennifer Hohn said although report is not yet in hand, she anticipates the property will not need any cleanup.
"The monkey on our back is Sun Cleaners ... but I am under the impression that there will be no need for clean up," she said. "We still need a formalized report, but it looks positive … I think we are finally heading in the right direction after 10 years."
In other business, Hohn said she plans to appeal a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development score from a recent physical tour of the authority's properties.
She said even though the buildings are in better shape, they scored a 71. The last survey they scored a 97.
Hohn said they automatically lost 10 points for paint found on three sprinkler heads.
"It went really well until we got the report. We went into a couple of units where people have painted and there were little flecks on the two or three sprinkler heads and they are going to cite us for that," she said. "That is an automatic 10 points whether it is one or 100 so for the first time in history, I am going to appeal."
Hohn said third-party inspectors are hired for the surveys.