PERRY — The city’s housing authority will soon be managed by the Warner Robins Housing Authority due to financial strains.
Penrose Wolf, who serves on the Perry Housing Authority board, said he expects contracts will be signed and that the operation, maintenance and administration of the authority will be assumed by The Warner Robins Housing Authority effective Nov. 1.
“(The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development) has, for the past three years, reduced the payments income to all housing authorities,” Wolf said. “That, for a small housing authority like Perry’s, has caused a cash crunch. ... The deficit has been on the order of between $60,000 and $80,000 annually.”
Current staff members of the authority will no longer be employed as of Nov. 1, Wolf said. After five years on the job, Executive Director James Joyner tendered his resignation effective Oct. 30. Two others will no longer be employees, Wolf said.
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The outsourcing of management is “in part” a cost-saving measure, he said.
“There will be a cost-saving factor there that will be adequate, I think, to turn what was a deficit operation into ... a profitable one,” Wolf said. “How much (money could be saved)? It’s difficult to say right now.”
Joyner, who was director of the Hawkinsville Housing Authority for 15 years, said he expects management agreements are something that are “probably going to take place with a lot of smaller housing authorities across the state” because of dwindling federal funding.
“It may very well be a toe in the water before consolidation,” Joyner said of the management agreement.
Wolf said the board “considered consolidation, but that’s not something we wanted to do.”
The management agreement is expected to be official by Nov. 1.
Sheryl Frazier, chief executive officer of the Warner Robins and Houston County housing authorities, said she will act as director of the Perry Housing Authority and will have help from a couple of part-time staff members.
“We will be in Perry two days a week,” Frazier said. “We have a staff that will be managing (Perry’s 50 units), taking care of the property and offering the same level of support that the residents have right now.”
To contact writer Laura Corley, call 744-4334 or follow her on Twitter @Lauraecor.