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Bennington Housing Authority Rated "Substandard"


After a housing authority in Southern Vermont failed to pass an inspection by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development earlier this year, the agency must now submit a corrective plan to federal authorities to address its inadequacies. WAMC’s Lucas Willard reports…

The Bennington Housing Authority was initially notified by mail this month that it was designated as “substandard”, and now has until December 30th to submit a corrective plan to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development Region 1.

Liz Montaquila is a spokeswoman for HUD…

The BHA failed HUD’s Physical Assessment System with a score of 17 of 40 points. Inspectors assess housing authorities through four separate indicators - Physical, Financial, management, and capital funds.

Montaquila said that HUD inspectors found numerous smaller issues within the BHA’s four housing complexes.

Executive Director of the Bennington Housing Authority Deborah Reed said that necessary repairs have been made, and problems have been addressed.

Reed said that for example, maintenance staff will now hold weekly meetings and the maintenance supervisor will make tours of each complex.

Once the corrective action plan is submitted, Liz Montaquila said that HUD will review it with the BHA and determine the next steps.

Without the corrective measures addressed, public housing authorities can be redesignated as “troubled” and will be placed under increased oversight by HUD

Also this month, in Massachusetts, housing authorities across the state were awarded $2.2 million by Gov. Patrick’s administration to make repairs to vacant housing, in an effort to improve conditions and also provide more affordable housing to low-income residents.

Matthew Schiff is spokesman for the state Department of Housing and Community Development…

The grants up to $25,000 per unit will reimburse housing authorities on repairs made to properties vacant for more than 60 days. The units must have new tenants by March 31st to receive the funding.

Lucas Willard is a reporter and host at WAMC Northeast Public Radio, which he joined in 2011.