VHA finishes fiscal year with $190K surplus

Published 11:10 am Friday, November 21, 2014

The Vicksburg Housing Authority finished the 2014 fiscal year with a $190,000 surplus, the housing authority’s executive director told its Board of Commissioners.

“Our income totaled $2.264 million and our expenses totaled $2.074 million,” executive director Ben Washington told the commissioners Wednesday. “That’s a 32 percent increase over 2013, when we had profit of $144,000.”

Although the total rent collected for the year was down about $25,000 from fiscal 2013, he said, VHA’s federal administrative subsidy from the Department of Housing and Urban Development totaled $1.4 million, an increase of $97,000 from 2013.

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Washington said administrative expenses totaled $944,000, which was a 5 percent increase over 2013, while operation and maintenance expenses were $809,000, a $67,000 decrease from the $876,000 spent in 2013.

Looking at the start of fiscal 2015, he said VHA ended the month with an $11,000 surplus adding, “our total operating receipts were $177,000, and our total expenses were $166,000.”

He said rent collections were $49,000 for October, an increase over the average of $44,000 to $45,000 rental revenue the VHA usually receives for the month.

“Some of that is probably from the utility adjustments,” he said, referring to a board decision earlier this year to begin including utility payments as part of the rent for some housing complexes.

Washington said the housing authority’s current operating subsidy from HUD is $97,000 a month.

“Their fiscal year ends in December, so we’ll see $97,000 for the next three months, and we’ll see what happens with the new year,” he said. “Right now, we’re getting about 92 percent of what we actually qualify for.”

In other action, the board:

• Rejected a $52,000 bid by Taylor Brothers Construction of Vicksburg to repair stairs at VHA’s Valley Court property because the bid failed to meet the specifications. The board approved hiring AW Painting and Contracting of Jackson, the second lowest bidder. Washington said AW’s bid was $84,000, adding company officials said they were willing to negotiate a lower price.

• Received a letter from HUD that VHA is still on the waiting list to participate in HUD’s Rental Assistance Demonstration Program, which converts public housing programs to a system similar to Section 8.

VHA applied to participate in the program in 2013, but did not make the initial list of public housing programs. It is expected to be included in the second stage of the program if HUD gets funding for another RAD program.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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