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Nov. 3, 2004

Oswego County Housing Assistance Program Receives 'High Performance' Rating

Oswego County Housing Assistance Program Receives 'High Performance' Rating

In a recent review by the New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal, the Oswego County Department of Planning and Community Development received a high performance rating for administering the Housing Choice Voucher Section 8 Rental Assistance Program

The goal of the program is to provide income eligible families with decent, safe and sanitary housing at an affordable cost. The program assists families and individuals that fall below 50 percent of the median income for their family size. Participants pay between 30 to 40 percent of their monthly-adjusted income towards their rent and utilities, and the rental assistance program pays the remainder.

"I was quite pleased to learn the department has received a 96.5 percent performance rating," said Brian Frazier, Oswego County Director of Planning and Community Development. "I'm very proud of my housing staff and their exemplary efforts to provide a high level of service to the citizens of Oswego County through the Housing Choice Voucher/Section 8 Rental Assistance Program."

The federally funded program was created by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The Oswego County Housing Assistance Program has assisted 380 families throughout the county. The program provides over $1 million in federal subsidies to property owners, renters, and utilities. As of August 2004, the program paid $144,270 to county rental property owners, $838,671 in rental subsidies, and $15,697 in utility reimbursements.

"The housing choice voucher program generates money for both county property owners as well as eligible residents, and improves housing throughout the county," said Dona Lee Falciatano, Oswego County Housing Program Coordinator. "Many times owners make improvements to their properties in order to be involved in the program. Rental units participating in this program must meet with housing quality standards that are determined by the Department of Housing and Urban Development."

This is the second time the Oswego County Housing Assistance Program has received a high performance rating of 90 percent or greater. "In order to achieve this rating, it has to be a team effort by our staff," Falciatano said.

The staff includes Andrea L. Collins, Housing Program Specialist, Dawn L. Sam, Housing Program Inspector, Sharon Griffin, Housing Program Clerk, Deb Wise, Family Self-Sufficiency Clerk, and Falciatano.

The county legislature's Economic Development and Planning Committee oversees the county Department of Planning and Community Development. "Not only do landlords and tenants throughout the county benefit by the rental assistance program, it improves the quality of life in our community," said committee chairwoman Kim Seager, District 10 (Schroeppel, Volney). "To receive a high performance rating for the second time demonstrates that Oswego County's housing staff is very dedicated, highly-competent, and hard-working."

In addition to Legislator Seager, the committee includes legislators Barbara Brown, District 8 (Palermo, Hastings and Schroeppel); Jack Beckwith, District 21 (Hannibal); Tom Bullard, District 14 (Scriba); Francis Hoefer, District 19 (Minetto, Town of Oswego, Hannibal and Granby); Paul Santore, District 16 (City of Oswego); and David Waters, District 3 (Pulaski and Richland).

The Housing Choice Voucher Program offers opportunities for families to become economically independent. To accomplish this goal, the Housing Assistance Program provides needed educational and social services support with traditional housing assistance.

For an application or additional information, visit the Oswego County Housing Office in the basement of the Oswego County Courthouse, 25 E. Oneida St., Oswego, or call the office at 349-8263 or 1-800-596-3200, ext. 8263.

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