Affordable housing report proposes consolidating agencies to save $450,000

first_img-30- A new report on Vermont’s non-profit affordable housing providers says the state should consider consolidating them and introducing performance measures to increase efficiency and accountability. The report, which was commissioned as a result of the ‘Tiger Team’ efforts by the Douglas administration to find efficiencies and savings in state government, recommends combining the Vermont State Housing Agency; the Vermont Housing Finance Agency; and the affordable housing programs of the Vermont Housing Conservation Board and the Department of Economic, Housing and Community Development into one agency.Noting that the non-profit agencies duplicate many functions and each has their own board of directors, offices, and staff, the report estimates conservatively that the annual savings of consolidation would be $450,000, which could be used to build more affordable housing.The report stated:”The dollars at stake are significant: from 2008 to 2010, Vermont invested nearly $211million in building and maintaining affordable housing ‘ almost all of which was eitherstate funds or federal funds that the state manages.The need is great: an additional 13,000 units of affordable housing will be neededbetween 2009 and 2014, according to the 2010 Vermont Housing Needs Assessment.How Vermont chooses to provide affordable housing can make a difference.”The report ‘ prepared by the Weidner Group, a firm specializing in finding efficiencies in government ‘ recommends combining the three non-profit quasi-governmental entities as well as the state’s affordable housing program into one agency, and setting specific goals and performance standards to be met.The $450,000 savings noted would come from eliminating staff:”The consolidation of organizations and programs provides clear opportunities to eliminate redundancy and redirect resources to supportaffordable housing. A review of the Program Assessments, staff rosters, and staff roles provides the following conservative estimates for annual salary savings in Administration positions, using low salary ranges for positions:”‘All of state government has taken steps to increase efficiency and move towards performance-based measures and contracts with our partners,’ said Kevin Dorn, Secretary of Commerce and Community Development. ‘Given the millions of taxpayer dollars spent on affordable housing, and the revenue shortfalls the state is facing, Vermonters expect and deserve wise stewardship of their money, and clear indicators of whether they’re getting what they pay for.’‘In addition, there is the savings in both money and time that would result from developers not being required to apply to each board for financing approval, which is what happens now,’ Dorn said. ‘This is a common-sense recommendation that warrants strong consideration.’Consolidating the functions of the non-profits would also increase accountability for achieving results, Dorn said, which is currently difficult because each has only a partial role in many projects.The Summary Recommendations in the report states, in part:”One Consolidated Affordable Housing Agency for the State of Vermont should beestablished. The programs of the Vermont State Housing Agency and the VermontHousing Finance Administration, along with the affordable housing-focused programs ofthe Vermont Housing Conservation Board and the Department of Economic, Housingand Community Development should be consolidated into one Affordable HousingAgency for the State of Vermont.Program performance should be clearly aligned to Priorities and Results. Programsshould measure their performance in ways that demonstrate their contribution to theaccomplishment of Priorities and Results.Select programs should be consolidated. Opportunities for consolidation of programsinclude:â ¢ The present Multifamily Housing programs in VHCB and VHFA should becombined into one program.â ¢ The Single Family Program in VHCB and the Single Family Mortgage Financeprogram in VHFA should be combined into one program.â ¢ The Neighborhood Stabilization Program in DEHCD and the NeighborhoodStabilization: Home Acquisition and Rehabilitation Program in VHFA should becombined into one program.Most programs should remain intact. The remaining affordable housing programsshould be brought into a consolidated agency intact. They provide separate outcomes anddo not appear to be duplicative.Conservation programs should not be included in the consolidated affordablehousing agency. The conservation-focused programs in VHCB should not be included ina consolidated affordable housing organization as they focus on distinctly differentcustomers and goals, objectives and results for customers.”The report has been sent to the governor’s office for consideration.To view the report please visit: http://www.dhca.state.vt.us/10-13_Housing_Report_FINAL.pdf(link is external)Source: Agency of Commerce and Community Development. 10.26.2010last_img read more

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Sheriff: Suspect released, sent back to jail same day in Delaware County

first_img(WBNG) — Authorities say an individual has been arrested for vehicular theft on Tuesday “hours” after being released from the Delaware County Correctional Facility. Jax-Mejia was originally jailed on Jan. 1 on the charges of criminal possession of stolen property in the 3rd degree, a class D felony and false impersonation, a class B misdemeanor, the sheriff’s office says. The sheriff’s office says Jax-Mejia identifies as an MS-13 gang member. Authorities noted that he was accused of having a stolen vehicle from Dutchess County and giving Walton Police a false name.center_img They say the theft occurred the same day he was released from jail in accordance with the new bail reform law. The Delaware County Sheriff’s Office says 21-year-old Eusebio Jax-Mejia was charged by state police with grand larceny in the 3rd degree, a class D felony after stealing a vehicle from the Delaware County Public Safety building.last_img read more

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Three things to look for during a property inspection

first_imgArchicentre Australia has released tips on how to make the most of a home inspection.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus18 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market18 hours ago2. LAYOUT As well as any building faults, consider the functional layout of the home.Mr Georgiev says functionality can depend on the era of construction. “Older properties tend to concentrate many of the services at the rear and this can block living spaces from whatever rear yard there may be,” he says.“Look for reasonable separation between sleeping areas and living areas with service rooms between them.” AUCTION PACKED WEEKEND AHEAD Light is an important factor to look for when inspecting a home.3. LIGHTBringing light into a home is important on many levels. Mr Georgiev says this should preferably be done by means of windows rather than skylights, which should be restricted to bathrooms and laundries. “They are to be avoided in habitable spaces,” he says.“Embedded psychological wellbeing occurs when light and an aspect is achieved. “If northern and eastern aspects can be achieved, a degree of passive solar thermal performance is a handy adjunct as it can save on heating and cooling.”(Source: Archicentre Australia) Archicentre Australia has tips on how to make the most of a property inspection.YOU have 15 minutes to decide whether this is the home of your dreams. Scary, right?Before you make one of the biggest financial investments of your life, here are three things to look out for during a property inspection:1. BUILDING FAULTSYou might fall in love with the place the minute you set foot inside, but it’s what you don’t see that really counts.Ask the agent if the owners have had a building and pest inspection done, and if not, organise a thorough assessment of the property’s condition yourself.It’s a small price to pay for peace of mind. You can also talk to an architect about the era the property was built, so you can better understand any inherent faults. GET THE LATEST REAL ESTATE NEWS DIRECT TO YOUR INBOX HERE center_img Consider what faults the building might have when inspecting a property.They can also provide a property assessment using a checklist — boundary to boundary, externals and internals.Archicentre Australia director Peter Georgiev says buildings can vary depending on the development of building regulations and more recently planning codes — from ‘pre-regulation’ to ‘mid Twentieth Century regulation’ to current ‘performance based regulation’. “Each era or intersection of eras is a starting point for understanding building defects and this is where the knowledge of an architect comes into its own,” he says. WHERE LESS THAN $500,000 BUYS A HOUSE last_img read more

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GIZ A JOB! STUDENTS TO TEAM UP WITH LOCAL EMPLOYERS ON UNIQUE SCHEME

first_imgStudents in Letterkenny are to take part in a unique scheme which will match them up with local employers.Letterkenny Institute of Technology Student Union, in conjunction with Letterkenny Chamber of Commerce and Letterkenny Institute of Technology, will officially launch the Business Employment Scheme for Students (BESS) on campus at the LYIT, on Monday, September 21st.The BESS initiative, a brain child of the Student Union President, Dylan McGowan, has been developed to enable students and businesses to engage with each other, for the purpose of providing part-time or temporary jobs for students. This pilot programme hopes to assist local businesses, by providing the local business network with access to LYIT students, who may be seeking part-time or temporary work.Dylan McGowan, Student Union President, said “I know what it’s like to be a struggling student; this initiative aims to match local business needs, with needs of LYIT students, seeking part-time work. With thanks to Catherine Lyster, Careers Officer at LYIT, I have been able to bring this initiative to the pilot stage. I have been overwhelmed by the response from local businesses to get involved in the BESS programme, and this is thanks to Toni Forrester, Letterkenny Chamber of Commerce, who has backed this initiative. ”Toni Forrester, Letterkenny Chamber has also welcomed the scheme.“Letterkenny Chamber has always recognised the value of LYIT and indeed the students to the economy. We know that students are under more financial pressure than ever before and we were pleased that the new President of the Student Union approached us to get involved in the Business Employment Scheme for Students (BESS). “The student cohort provides a source of available labour especially at those times of the year when part-time staff are most needed. This scheme will give local employers an opportunity to advertise and their vacancies at no cost and directly to students. We will be encouraging our members to avail of this unique and new service.”Paul Hannigan, President, LYIT, is also supporting this scheme.He said “I am delighted by the initiative shown by Students Union President, Dylan McGowan and his colleagues in this project. At Letterkenny IT we aspire to support the local economy through engagement with various stakeholders including businesses of the region. This initiative will be viewed as a useful asset to businesses in the locality as we have bright, ambitious and hard-working students on both our campuses who would relish the opportunity of part-time work in the locality.“While encouraging students to avail of this opportunity we know they must achieve an appropriate balance with their studies. This year we envisage it to be a pilot programme but hopefully with the help of feedback from participating businesses, this initiative can become solidified over time”.If you are a business, interested in learning more about the BESS programme please contact;• Dylan McGowan, Student Union President, directly on 0867702701, [email protected]• Catherine Lyster, Careers Officer, 074 9186812, [email protected]• Toni Forrester, Chief Executive Officer, Letterkenny Chamber of Commerce on 074 9124866. GIZ A JOB! STUDENTS TO TEAM UP WITH LOCAL EMPLOYERS ON UNIQUE SCHEME was last modified: September 2nd, 2015 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Dylan McGowanLetterknny ChamberLYITPaul Hanninganlast_img read more

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