Winnebago County Housing Authority designated as a High Performer Agency
Online Staff Report
The Winnebago County Housing Authority (WCHA) has been designated as a High Performer Agency by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development with a score of 94 out of a possible 100.
WCHA was scored in the following four areas: physical condition of its buildings and homes; financial operations and soundness; management operation; and occupancy.
WCHA serves a strong percentage of senior citizens and the disabled. Of all assisted families, 53.6 percent are disabled and 50 percent are elderly.
84 percent of WCHA property has been privatized since 2008, yet all property remains managed by WCHA and under the direction of the WCHA Board, which is appointed by Winnebago County Board Chairman Scott Christiansen (R) and approved by the Winnebago County Board.
WCHA is a model agency often contacted by other housing authorities throughout the United States for assistance and guidance with their own operations.
“We are very proud of the accomplishments of the Winnebago County Housing Authority,” Christiansen said. “Chairman Fred Wescott, the WCHA Board members, Executive Director Alan Zais and staff are to be congratulated for serving as a model agency.”
The privatization has allowed the WCHA to position themselves against federal budget cuts. If they had not acted on revitalizing 84 percent of their housing, they would now have to work with aging stock and deferred maintenance, along with an 18 percent capital fund budget cut, and outsource any of their management.
WCHA has brought $65 million in renovation projects to the county since 2008, with $25 million in the past 12 months, covering Champion Park/HOPE VI in Rockford, Johnston Garden in South Beloit and Collier Garden in the county. About $12 million was private-sector equity. Champion Park, Collier Garden and Johnston Garden, now privatized, pay property taxes to the county — approximately $30,000 last year for Collier and $45,000 for Champion, and Johnston will start paying next year.
Posted March 15, 2012
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