Minutes THA August 2017 – Special Meeting

Trumbull Housing Authority — August 15, 2017

Trumbull Housing Authority
Special Meeting
August 15, 2017
Community Room of Stern Village

Commissioners Present: Chairman Janice Kopchik, Susan Fatse, Paul Niebuhr

Also Present: Executive Director Harriet Polansky

Commissioners Absent: Deborah Dowd and Susan Donofrio

The meeting was called to order at 4:06 pm by Chairman Kopchik followed by Roll Call and the
Pledge of Allegiance.
Chairman Kopchik stated that she would like to call an Executive Session to discuss personnel matters
and she requested that Executive Director Harriet Polansky and Financial Consultant Neil Gerhardt join
the Executive Session.
Motion was made by Chairman Kopchik to move to the Executive Session. Seconded by Susan Fatse
and approved unanimously.
Motion was made by Chairman Kopchik to continue the board meeting after the Executive Session.
Seconded by Paul Niebuhr and approved unanimously.

New Business
Motion made by Chairman Kopchik to approve the tentative agreement for the 2017 — 2020
Trumbull Housing Authority Union Contract. Seconded by Susan Fatse and unanimously approved.

Resident Comments
No comments made.

Adjournment
There being no further business, Chairman Kopchik moved to adjourn the meeting at 4:17 pm. Seconded
by Susan Fatse and unanimously approved.

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

Heather LeMoult
Administrative Assistant

Minutes THA July 2017

Trumbull Housing Authority – July 24, 2017

Trumbull Housing Authority Meeting
July 24, 2017
4:00 pm
Community Room of Stern Village

Commissioners Present: Chairman Janice Kopchik, Deborah Dowd, Paul Niebuhr

Also Present: Executive Director Harriet Polansky

Commissioners Absent: Susan Fatse and Suzanne Donofrio

The meeting was called to order at 4:05 pm by Chairman Kopchik followed by Roll Call and the Pledge of
Allegiance.

Past Minutes
Motion was made by Mrs. Kopchik to approve the minutes of June 26, 2017, as written. Seconded by
Mr. Niebuhr and approved.

Treasurer’s Report
Mrs. Dowd reported for the Trumbull Housing Authority for the period ending June 30, 2017. Stern
Village and Stern Center currently has an overall loss of approximately $116,830. This is attributable to
the numerous vacancies in the Village and Center reducing the rental income, as well as additional legal
expenses, the costs of advertising for the wait list openings and the necessary credit checks, utility rate
increases and usage and the rehabbing of vacated units. If you take into account the funds we add to
our provision for our reserves, the Adjusted Net Income will be a loss of $2,210.

Executive Director’s Report
Ms. Polansky reported the current reserve balance is $1,369,296, which is approximately $6,168 for
each unit in the entire complex. The overall cash position as of June 30, 2017, shows a balance of
$741,472, including the investment account. As of June 30, 2017, Accounts Payable is approximately
$63,755, including the PILOT accrual for the current year. Ms. Polansky will continue to look at other
projects to further improve the facility within the realm of affordability, necessity, and security.
At the present time, the Village has 11 vacancies. At least eight of these will be rented August 1 –
October 1. This does not include units 5, 6, 7 and 8. The Congregate has two vacancies. The Maintenance crew is in the process of rehabbing the units.
There was a significant mold issue in Unit 40 that could have been avoided. Ms. Polansky held a mold
prevention meeting with the residents. ServPro came in to discuss causes of mold and how it spreads.
Residents were instructed how to clean and what to look for. Handouts will be in the August newsletter.
Water spills need to be cleaned up so mold does not develop.
The energy incentive check from UI has been received. Ms. Polansky noted the funds would be used for
several different projects including remodeling of vacant, off-line apartments, heat pumps in the
Congregate dining room and flooring in the community room. Fifteen new chairs have been purchased
and some of the current chairs have been donated to other departments. She is also hoping to replace
the remaining windows in the Congregate and an air handling system for the Congregate kitchen. She
has also asked UI to provide an energy incentive for heat pumps for the dining room.
The Community Room will be closed Tuesday at 4 pm for the installation of flooring. It will be closed
through the weekend to allow the new flooring to set.

Unfinished Business
No unfinished business.

New Business
1. Ms. Polansky noted the Small Cities Grant paid for the heat pumps in all the units. Some funding
was used for the heat pumps in the Community Room. The remainder of the funds will be going
towards six water heaters that need to be replaced. Mrs. Kopchik moved to approve the AIA
change orders for the purchase of six water heaters to be used for the Stern Village. Seconded
by Mr. Niebuhr and approved.
2. Ms. Polansky noted they have been remodeling apartments as they become vacant. Currently, the THA has a building encompassing four efficiency units that are vacant. These units will be
remodeled and upgraded by installing new kitchen cabinets with Universal Design in mind, new
non-slip, easy to clean wood floors, walk-in shower with ADA hardware and grab bars, fresh
paint, and new appliances. The THA will be able to pay for some of these upgrades.
In order to accrue more rental income, the base rent for newly remodeled apartments must
increase. Ms. Polansky noted she will not know what the financial situation for the
Center/Village will be until the State has their own budget. She is proposing that for the newly
remodeled efficiency apartments, the base rate should be $600 and $650 for any of the one
bedrooms that are remodeled in the future. This is based on several discussions with CHFA
about creative ways to increase the rental income and a review of various market studies and
source market information. The new base rent will not affect or apply to the current tenants at
Stern Village. The new units will not be offered to current tenants. A letter will be sent to all
applicants on the wait list alerting them of the newly remodeled apartments and new base rent.
If no one on the wait list is interested in the “Model Units” 5, 6, 7 and 8, they will be advertised
with a higher base rent.
The intention is to phase in the new base rent for Stern Village as units become available
through turnover and vacancies. The THA has the resources to remodel/upgrade units, as per
the model units, in order to charge a higher monthly base or net rent. A discussion was held with
the residents about rents.
Mrs. Kopchik moved to approve the new base rents to be applied to the newly remodeled units
only. The new base rent for efficiencies will be $600 and the new base rent for one bedroom
units will be $650. The remodeled units will be available to incoming residents only. The new
base rents do not apply to existing Stern Village residents. Seconded by Mr. Niebuhr and
approved unanimously.

Updates from the Stern Village Resident Association
Sandy Fisher noted there will be a potluck on October 18 from noon until 3 pm. John will be contacting
different politicians. They will have letters printed up that residents can sign for various concerns such
as Medicare and Medicaid that will be forwarded to these individuals. Maureen was elected as
member-at-large and will serve as secretary. Gloria will put together a list of people to be contacted
because they are ill or had surgery. She noted Kim is no longer with them because the funding from the
state is not available.
Ms. Polansky noted a new pool table and two chairs were donated by a Trumbull resident who moved
from the area.

Resident Comments
Deborah Dowd – noted she will be having back surgery this week. The Resident Association is in good
hands while she is gone.
Lee – questioned the new siding noted in the newsletter. Ms. Polansky stated some of the exteriors of
the buildings will be updated but not the siding.
Joan – asked if there was a store that could donate appliances for remodeled units. Ms. Polansky noted
that once they become a 501c3, this type of donation will be possible. 501c3 status has been applied for
but Ms. Polansky has not heard any update.
Sandy – Requested a printer for the Community Room. Ms. Polansky noted there will be a printer in the
Congregate that the Resident Association can use. Ms. Fisher also questioned how to get more
residents involved in their community. It was suggested that a questionnaire be developed to ask
residents their interests and what they would like to see for activities.

Adjournment
There being no further business, motion was made by Mrs. Kopchik to adjourn the meeting at 4:35 pm.
Seconded by Mr. Niebuhr and approved.

Respectfully submitted,

Barbara Crandall
Clerk

Minutes THA June 2017

Trumbull Housing Authority – June 26, 2017

Trumbull Housing Authority Meeting
June 26, 2017
4:00 pm
Community Room of Stern Village

Commissioners Present:  Chairman Janice Kopchik, Deborah Dowd, Paul Niebuhr, Susan Fatse and
Suzanne Donofrio

Also Present:  Executive Director Harriet Polansky

The meeting was called to order at 4:06 pm by Chairman Kopchik followed by Roll Call and the Pledge of
Allegiance.
On behalf of the Board, Mrs. Kopchik asked for a moment of silence for Shirley Puzak who recently passed.  She helped deliver the Village Voice and was loved by all.

Past Minutes 
Ms. Polansky amended the minutes of May 22, 2017 as follows:  Page 2, 5th paragraph should read “Tires
will be checked by maintenance and will be on the road shortly.”  Page 3 under Resident Comments
from Joan should read “with your neighbor or know they are ill, please call for help.”  Motion made by
Mrs. Kopchik to approve the minutes of May 22, 2017 as amended.  Seconded by Mrs. Donofrio and
approved.  Abstention by Mrs. Fatse.
Ms. Polansky amended the minutes of the Special Meeting of June 6, 2017 as follows:  Page 1;
paragraph above Village Management Plan should read “Village and Congregate for 2017‐2018.”
Motion was made by Mrs. Kopchik to approve the minutes of June 6, 2017 as amended.  Seconded by
Mrs. Donofrio and approved.  Abstentions by Mrs. Fatse and Mr. Niebuhr.

Treasurer’s Report
Mrs. Dowd reported for the Trumbull Housing Authority for the period ending May 31, 2017.  Stern
Village and Stern Center currently has an overall loss of approximately $103,105. This is attributable to
the numerous vacancies in the Village and the Center reducing the rental income, as well as additional
legal expenses, the costs of advertising for the wait list opening and the necessary credit checks, utility
rate increases and usage, and the rehabbing of vacated units by the maintenance people. If you take
into account the funds added to the provision for the reserves, the Adjusted Net Income will be a profit
of $2,302.

Executive Director’s Report 
Ms. Polansky reported the current reserve balance is $1,389,629, which is approximately $6,260 for
each unit in the entire complex. The overall cash position as of May 31, 2017 shows a balance of
$803,380, including the investment account. As of May 31, 2017, Accounts Payable is approximately
$45,112 including the PILOT accrual for the current year.  Ms. Polansky will continue to look at other
projects to further improve the facility within the realm of affordability, need and security. At the present time, the Village has twelve vacancies and the Congregate has five vacancies. New residents will
be moving into Stern Village throughout July and August.
Ms. Polansky reviewed her Recap from January 1, 2017 through June 30, 2017.  Recap is attached.

Unfinished Business 
No unfinished business.

New Business 
Ms. Polansky noted there was a small amount of funding left from the Small Cities Grant that was used
for the heat pumps.  These remaining funds will be used to install heat pumps in the Community Room.
There will be no expense to the Village as it is part of the original grant.  John Barry will be doing the
work.  Ms. Polansky noted the problems with some of the pumps have been resolved.  Resident bills
have been significantly reduced.  Motion was made by Mrs. Kopchik to approve the AIA change order for
labor and material to replace two faulty main breakers in apartments 104 and 105 and the change order
for installation of the heat pumps in the Community Room.   Seconded by Mrs. Fatse.  Approved
unanimously.

Stern Village Resident Association Updates 
Mrs. Dowd reported there is an opening on the Association Board due to a resignation.  The next
meeting will be on July 11.  They will be taking nominations from the floor, everyone interested will be
given 2‐3 minutes to speak to the group and then a vote will be taken.

Resident Comments 
Joan – stated the heat pumps are working well.  She has no problem with hers although others have a
problem with the air blowing directly on them.  Mrs. Fatse stated that a work order should be done and
the maintenance department will come in and adjust the pump.  If a resident did not get a booklet with
directions for the pump, they are available in Ms. Polansky’s office.

Adjournment 
There being no further business, motion was made by Mrs. Kopchik to adjourn the meeting at 4:28 pm.
Seconded by Mrs. Donofrio and approved unanimously.

Respectfully submitted,

Barbara Crandall
Clerk

Minutes THA June 2017 – Special Meeting

Trumbull Housing Authority – June 6, 2017

Trumbull Housing Authority
Special Meeting
June 6, 2017
Community Room of Stern Village

Commissioners Present: Chairman Janice Kopchik, Deborah Dowd, Suzanne Donofrio

Also Present: Executive Director Harriet Polansky

Commissioners Absent: Susan Fatse and Paul Niebuhr

The meeting was called to order at 4:17 by Chairman Kopchik followed by Roll Call and the
Pledge of Allegiance.
Chairman Kopchik noted the Special Meeting was being held to discuss the Stern Village
Management Plan for 2017‐2018, Congregate Management Plan for 2017‐2018 and Congregate
Service Plan for 2017‐2018. Mrs. Kopchik requested Ms. Polansky to review this information.
Mrs. Polansky noted that she and Neil have been working on the Management Plans for the
Village and Congregate for 2016‐2017. The fiscal year starts July 1, 2017, and ends June 30, 2018.

Village Management Plan
For 2018, the budget was increased for rent revenue. On Page 1, revenue comes from the
monthly rent and laundry/vending machines, which is not a significant amount. They accounted
for vacancy loss in the management plan. They have vacancies to fill at the new rent of $400 &
$450, as well as filling the off-line units, 5,6,7,8. Rents were not increased for Stern Village or
the Congregate for the upcoming fiscal year.
They budgeted $719,484 for total rent revenue in 2017 and are increasing it to $773, 544 for
2018.
On Page 2 for Operating Expenses, she noted they are operating efficiently and effectively and
doing their best to keep overall costs down. There were more legal expenses than anticipated
due to tenant issues, the creation of the non-profit, the new leases for Stern Village and the
Congregate, and the like. For 2018, they decreased the budget for legal significantly. With the
Grievance Procedures in place, they will not rely on legal counsel for matters they can settle out
of court.
Utilities – they are anticipating electricity, water, gas, and Cable to remain the same for the next
fiscal year.

Janitorial – the buildings are old and have several areas that need to be fixed. They hope to get
the funding from the State that is needed to fix the major infrastructure problems. There was a
lot of overtime this year due to sewer clogs, rehabbing units, resident issues, and the like. They
increased the budget for 2018 to accommodate full-time salaries for our three maintenance
workers and for one part-time worker.
Supplies – they plan to decrease the cost for office and janitorial supplies in the upcoming fiscal
year.
Garbage and Trash – they use the Town for dump runs from April – September. After that, RWS
provides a dumpster and they pay each time it needs to be emptied. They are approximating the
same cost for 2017-2018.
Insurance – payroll taxes were decreased for this next fiscal year since it ended up being less for
2016-2017. PILOT will increase (PILOT is calculated by net rent – utilities x 3%) due to filling
vacancies. Workman’s Compensation has decreased significantly thanks to Neil for 2017-2018.
Health insurance went up significantly, which we accounted for 2017-2018. Pension expense
has been decreased for the upcoming fiscal year.
Several one-time expenses were incurred in 2017: the purchase of a new truck, rehabilitation of
Unit 16 and on-going sewer issues.
They are planning on a positive cash flow of approximately $8,172 to be used for repairs,
maintenance and reserve.

Congregate Management Plan
Congregate is run a little differently since they have a Management Plan and a Services Plan.
The Congregate receives some state subsidy from DOH. The Congregate Management Plan and
Services Budget are similar to our last fiscal year. There should be a decrease in our UI bill due
to having solar.
Mrs. Kopchik moved to approve the Stern Village Management Plan for 2017-2018, the
Congregate Management Plan for 2017-2018 and the Congregate Services Plan for 2017-2018.
Seconded by Mrs. Donofrio and approved unanimously.

Resident Comments
No resident comments.

Next Meeting
The next regular meeting will be held on June 26, 2017.

Adjournment
There being no further business, Mrs. Kopchik moved to adjourn the meeting at 4:28 pm.
Seconded by Mrs. Donofrio and approved unanimously.

Respectfully submitted,

Barbara Crandall
Clerk

Minutes THA May 2017

Trumbull Housing Authority – May 22, 2017

Trumbull Housing Authority Meeting
May 22, 2017
4:00 pm
Community Room of Stern Village

Commissioners Present:  Chairman Janice Kopchik, Deborah Dowd, Paul Niebuhr and Suzanne Donofrio

Also Present:  Executive Director Harriet Polansky

Commissioners Absent:  Susan Fatse

The meeting was called to order at 4:10 pm by Chairman Kopchik followed by Roll Call and the Pledge of
Allegiance.
Chairman Kopchik opened the meeting by expressing condolences from the Board to the family of Ed
Horan who passed away last week.  She noted Mr. Horan was passionate about Stern Village and its residents.  He was active in the redevelopment committee of Stern Village and a member of the Stern
Village Resident Association Board.  He will be truly missed.

Past Minutes 
Motion was made by Mrs. Kopchik to approve the minutes of April 24, 2017 as written.  Seconded by
Mr. Niebuhr and approved unanimously.

Treasurer’s Report
Mrs. Dowd reported for the Trumbull Housing Authority for the period ending April 30, 2017.  Over the
course of the last ten months, Stern Village and Stern Center had an overall loss of approximately
$64,526.  For the past ten months, there have been numerous vacancies in the Village and the Center
reducing the rental income, as well as additional costs for the necessary national credit checks and
criminal checks, legal expenses, advertising for the wait list, utility rate increases and the rehabbing of
vacated units.  However, a profit of $6,260 is reflected on the 2016 management budget under Repairs,
Maintenance and Reserve.

Executive Director’s Report
Ms. Polansky reported the current reserve balance is $1,433,189, which is approximately $6,456 for
each unit in the entire complex.  The overall cash position as of April 30, 2017 shows a balance of
$798,335 including the investment account.  As of April 30, 2017, Accounts Payable is approximately
$37,280 including the PILOT accrual for the current year.  Ms. Polansky will continue to look at other
projects to further improve the facility within the realm of affordability, need and security.
At the present time, the Village has twelve vacancies and the Congregate has five vacancies.  There were
approximately 80 applicants and approximately 35 were rejected based on the national credit and
criminal background checks.  All rejection letters have been mailed.  Heather is in the process of
entering the 35 applicants into our software program to create the wait list.  A letter will be going out to these applicants stating that the next steps include landlord verification, an interview and determining
the ability to pay the base rent.  In the meantime, the maintenance men are rehabbing the vacant units.
Units 5, 6, 7 and 8  will be rehabbed and they served as the test units for the heat pump systems.
All heat pumps should be installed by the end of the June.  Ms. Polansky is hoping to have additional
funds to be used for heat pumps for the Community Room.  Ms. Polansky met with John Barry on Friday
to see how many would be necessary and to obtain a cost for the pumps and installation.
Ms. Polansky spoke with a representative of Spectrum ‐ Cable and she will get back to Ms. Polansky in
the next two weeks.  The agreement in place does not end until 2021 for this funding which is a
marketing initiative.
Team Home Depot will be putting in a flower and vegetable garden in the back of the Congregate.  The
congregants have expressed their interest in having a healing memorial garden.  They will be planning
this garden.  They are awaiting dates for planting.
The batteries are charged on the golf cart.  Tires will be checked by maintenance and it would be on the
road shortly.
Ms. Polansky discussed the letters from the State Representatives. The Trumbull Delegate will be invited
to Stern Village to become better acquainted with the Village needs.
Ms. Polansky welcomed John Fox as a new member of the maintenance staff.
Recertifications are in process.  Everyone must sign a new lease.  Any changes in rent and the new lease
will go into effect on July 1, 2017.
Ms. Polansky stressed the importance of helping the residents by calling the THA or Congregate if you
feel something is not right.  Check on your neighbors; watch for papers and mail piling up.  If you think
your neighbor may be ill and requires medical attention, do not hesitate to call 911.  She thanked the
residents who do that on a daily basis.
A Special Board Meeting will be held on June 6, 2017 at 4 pm in the Community Room.

Unfinished Business
None.

New Business 
None.

Update from the Stern Village Resident Association 
John reported that letters were received from Representative David Rutigliano regarding the condition
of the sidewalks at Stern Village Senior Housing.  Mr. Rutigliano noted that he has been aware of the
conditions and agrees that something needs to be done.  Letter is attached for review.
Ms. Polansky noted that when Mr. Rutigliano received all the letters, he stated he was in support of the
renovation.  They discussed the funding being requested.  Ms. Polansky encourage him to go to the DOH
and speak with them regarding the Village.

Resident Comments 
Joan – stated she was pleased with the men who installed the heat pump.  They were great, cleaned
everything, and put everything back in its original place.  They were very nice.  The pumps work well and
look beautiful.  She questioned, with regard to the situation last week, if the guard could have opened
the apartment door or does it have to only be the Police.   Ms. Polansky noted the guard is for the
Congregate only.  She reiterated that if you see mail or papers piled up or you think something is wrong
with your neighbor or know they are will, please call for help.  The guards will not be opening doors for
anyone any more.  This is independent living and not all residents inform Ms. Polansky if they leave for
several days.

Adjournment 
There being no further business, Mrs. Kopchik motioned to adjourn the meeting at 4:26 pm.  Seconded
by Mrs. Donofrio and approved unanimously.

Respectfully submitted,

Barbara Crandall
Clerk

Minutes THA April 2017

Trumbull Housing Authority – April 24, 2017

Trumbull Housing Authority Meeting
April 24, 2017
4:00 pm
Community Room of Stern Village

Commissioners Present: Chairman Janice Kopchik, Deborah Dowd, and Paul Niebuhr

Also Present: Executive Director Harriet Polansky

Commissioners Absent: Susan Fatse, Suzanne Donofrio

The meeting was called to order at 4:05 pm by Chairman Kopchik followed by Roll Call and the Pledge of
Allegiance.

Past Minutes
Motion was made by Mrs. Kopchik to approve the minutes of March 27, 2017, as written. Seconded by
Mr. Niebuhr and approved unanimously.

Treasurer’s Report
Mrs. Dowd reported for the Trumbull Housing Authority for the period ending March 31, 2017. Stern
Village and Stern Center currently has an overall loss of approximately $71,703. This is attributable to
the numerous vacancies in the Village and the Center reducing our rental income, as well as additional
costs of advertising for applications for Stern Village and the necessary credit checks, utility rate
increases and usage.

Director’s Report
Ms. Polansky reported the current reserve balance is $1,420.416, which is approximately $6,398 for
each unit in the entire complex. The overall cash position as of March 31, 2017, shows a balance of
$882,116 including the investment account. As of March 31, 2017, Accounts Payable is approximately
$76,199, including the PILOT accrual for the current year. Ms. Polansky will also be continuing to look at
other projects to further improve the facility within the realm of affordability, need, and security.
As the present time, the village has eight vacancies (not including the vacant building) and the
congregate has four vacancies. Ms. Polansky has 30 applicants and has mailed several applications.
There are interested applicants for the Congregate and they are scheduling when they will move in.
The installation of the heat pumps is going well. Several resident meetings have been held to discuss
the heat pumps and the remote control. The contractor is setting the thermostat and residents have
been told to set it and forget it. They are now up to unit 48. Every unit is getting a heat pump. Residents
do not have to use it if they don’t want to.
The Small Cities Application was delivered to DOH last week. This is for the energy efficient windows for
186 units.
The 2017 SSHP application is near completion. Ms. Polansky is asking for $5 million to fix the
infrastructure, roads, sidewalks, new roofs, fascia (front), gutters, new exterior doors, additional ADA
units, ADA compliant bathrooms, and kitchen for the community room.
Paperwork has been filed for establishing a non-profit THC at IRS. Once approved we will be able to get
additional funding and do lots of fund raising.
The letters residents wrote were mailed to Senator Moore, State Representatives David Rutigliano,
Laura Devlin and Ben McGorty, along with copies of the petitions. A representative of Senator Chris
Murphy’s office visited last Tuesday. Needs were discussed and how Senator Murphy can help. Ms.
Polansky also provided copies of all the letters and petitions to Senator Murphy.
Ms. Polansky is in the process of recertifying tenants. At the time of recertification, every resident must
sign the new lease in order to live at Stern Village. Copies of the new lease are in the Community Room
for residents to review. Ms. Polansky will also email caregivers the lease upon request. If a resident
does not sign the new lease, the THA will need to take appropriate action.
Starting on May 1st the Community Room will be open until 8 pm.

Unfinished Business
None.

New Business
None.

Update from the Stern Village Resident Association
John Vogel reported for the Association. He noted that he put together letters for the legislators in the
area asking them for assistance. Mr. Vogel was thanked for his efforts.

Resident Comments
Ed – commented that in the future he will bring up cable TV and the ability to change to a different
supplier. He realizes there is a monetary component for the Village to use Charter but he asked that the
money be given back so that they are not held hostage. Residents are having a lot of trouble with the
current supplier. Ms. Polansky noted that April 1, 2010, Charter was allowed to market their services at
Stern Village and the THA signed a non-exclusive installation and service agreement with Charter. This
agreement expires March 31, 2021. In doing so, Charter gave the THA a one-time payment of $22,200.
This situation has been explained to the residents in the past. Harriet will again contact Charter to see
what the options are and try to have some answers at the next meeting.
Joan – also spoke on the cable situation noting that Optimum and Cablevision cannot come into the
Village and satellite does not work.Ms. Polansky noted that the power in the Village went out recently due to an accident nearby and the generator in the Congregate worked well. The new protocol for the security guard also worked well. Ms. Polansky noted that she is informed when the power is out.
Ralph – asked about the status of the golf cart. Ms. Polansky noted she is getting quotations for new
batteries (6) and perhaps new tires. It will be in working condition soon.

Adjournment
There being no further business, motion was made by Mrs. Kopchik to adjourn the meeting at 4:20 pm.
Seconded by Mr. Niebuhr and approved unanimously.

Respectfully submitted,

Barbara Crandall
Clerk

Minutes THA March 217

Trumbull Housing Authority – March 27, 2017

Trumbull Housing Authority
March 27, 2017
4:00 pm
Community Room of Stern Village

Commissioners Present:  Chairman Janice Kopchik, Susan Fatse, Deborah Dowd, Suzanne Donofrio and Paul Niebuhr

Also Present: Executive Director Harriet Polansky and George Wiles from Wiles Architects

The meeting was called to order at 4:05 pm by Chairman Kopchik followed by Roll Call and the Pledge of
Allegiance.

Past Minutes
Motion was made by Mrs. Kopchik to approve the minutes of February 27, 2017, as written.  Seconded
by Mrs. Fatse.  Approved with abstentions by Mr. Niebuhr and Mrs. Donofrio.

Treasurer’s Report
Ms. Dowd reported for the Trumbull Housing Authority for the period ending February 28, 2017.  Stern
Village and Stern Center currently has an overall loss of approximately $51,981.  This is attributable to
the numerous vacancies in the Village and the Center reducing the rental income, as well as additional
legal expenses and costs of medical insurance, other insurances, and utility costs.  Currently, the reserve
balance is $1,491,145, which is approximately $6,717 for each unit in the entire complex.

Director’s Report
Ms. Polansky reported the overall cash position as of February 28, 2017, showed a balance of $907,025,
including the investment account.  Accounts Payable is approximately $47,461, including our PILOT
accrual for the current year.  Ms. Polansky will continue to look at other projects to further improve the
facility within the realm of affordability, need, and security.
Repairs are continuing for Unit #16.  The boiler and sprinkler system was repaired in the Congregate.  In
the Village, the circuit breakers were repaired and replaced as well as removal of some trees and
pruning to alleviate the sewer system problems.
Applications are being accepted for six vacancies in Stern Village starting April 3.  Applications will be
accepted for non‐smokers only.
Ms. Polansky noted that with impending snow storms, the residents are alerted to stay indoors until the
Maintenance crew can plow the roads and sidewalks.  She receives storm updates every two hours and
is in contact with EMS and the Office of Emergency Management.  She also calls UI to remind them, if
the power goes out, the THA Center has priority.  Extra help was hired to clear the sidewalks.  In order to
expedite plowing, it is mandatory that residents take their belongings off the porches.  Most residents
comply.  She reminded residents that this is still independent living and to not ask the Maintenance
crew to clear off cars or help shovel.  There are some wonderful residents that do help others in the
Village when needed.
There will be a resident meeting with John Barry in April to discuss the logistics for the heat pumps.
Letters will be sent informing the residents of what to expect.  One hundred eighty-six units will have
pumps installed.  It is up to the resident if they want to use it or not.  All residents were sent a letter
regarding the pumps.
Ms. Polansky is working with the Small Cities Consultant hired by the Town of Trumbull for new
windows for 186 units.  There are many documents to fill out.
Home Depot will be asked to help to create gardens in the back of the Congregate that were started by
the residents no longer here.
Ms. Polansky discussed moss and mold.  Moss is mostly on the ground or on the roofs that do not get a
lot of sun.  New roofs are being explored for units 1‐100.
Unfinished Business
Motion was made by Mrs. Kopchik to approve the minutes of February 13, 2017, Special Board meeting
as written.  Seconded by Mr. Niebuhr and approved with abstentions from Mrs. Dowd and Mrs. Kopchik.
New Business
Discussion and Possible Action Regarding the Trumbull Housing Corporation 501(c)3 – Ms. Polansky
noted the State wants the Center to leverage every source possible to get funding into Stern Village.
One way to accomplish this is to set up a non‐profit 501(c)3.  This will give the ability to fundraise, ask
for donations and apply for HTCC (Housing Tax Credit Contribution) funds.  Under the HTCC program, a non‐profit corporation can receive up to $500,000 annually in State tax credits that can then be sold to
State business firms in return for cash contributions to the non‐profit corporation’s housing program.
Ms. Polansky noted we have the opportunity to identify three consecutive rounds of HTCC funding (with
THC as the nonprofit co‐sponsor) for a total of $1.5 million in sources for the SSHP application
(maximum annual award of $500,000 each) earmarked for future unit renovations.  Assuming we receive the 501(c)3 designation from the IRS by the end of this year, we can apply for the 2018 HTCC round.  Ms. Polansky is looking for various ways to bring this money in through fundraising, endowments, galas, other donations, etc.
Mrs. Kopchik noted she would like to be President with Ms. Polansky Vice‐President, as the Executive
Director is required to be on the Board, and Mrs. Fatse as Secretary/Treasurer.  Mrs. Kopchik made a
motion to approve the creation of the Trumbull Housing Corporation, a non‐profit 501(c)3.  Seconded by
Mrs. Donofrio and approved unanimously.

Discussion and Possible Action Regarding the Congregate and Village Leases – Ms. Polansky noted that
over the past several months, the leases for the Congregate and Village have been reviewed, updated
and revised.  Attorney Jankovsky provided the correct wording and statutes as well as approved the
revisions made to the new leases.  These leases spell out THA rules and regulations and are there to
protect the residents and the THA from wrongdoings.  Meetings have been held with residents from the
Congregate and Village.  Residents have reviewed prior drafts and Ms. Polansky has answered several
questions.  This lease speaks to the animal policy in detail, grievance policy is attached, etc.  When
recertifications are done, the residents will be signing the new lease.
Mrs. Kopchik made a motion to approve the new tenant lease for the Stern Village Congregate and the
new tenant lease for Stern Village.    Seconded by Mrs. Donofrio and approved unanimously.
Discussion and Possible Action Regarding the AIA Agreement for the 2017 SSHP Application – Ms.
Polansky noted they are entering into another funding round for the 2017 State Sponsored Housing
Program.  The application is due around April 24.  In 2013, a CNA was done by CHFA.  They are looking at critical needs such as repaving the road and the roundabout by the parking lot as well as the walkways;
coordinating with the Town to repave the main loop road; repair sanitary and storm sewers; address
Community Room needs – ADA kitchen and restrooms; domestic hot water tanks; roofing; fascia;, gable
siding; gutters; increased attic insulation; exterior doors and master locksets, and storm doors.  Also,
environmental issues, if any and 20 ADA unit conversions.
Mr. Wiles noted the new agreement is a reorganization of all the documents produced to date which
presents a new scope of renovations that matches what Ms. Polansky enumerated.  Provides support for
the grants and applications that need to be done in accordance with requirements.  Several units will be
redesigned so that it reflects the new scope.
Mr. Wiles noted the current ADA units that were created early in the ADA awareness complied with
regulations at the time.  There has been many updates since that time so none of the current units
comply with current regulations.  They will be taking the units that have accessible floors underneath in
the crawl spaces to shift toilets and sinks in order to get current clearances.  This will be done in the
middle buildings.  Ms. Polansky noted currently they have eight.  ADA wants them accessible to parking
lots, Community Room and your car.  Having the crawl space makes it easier for redesign.  Units in Phase 3 will not be done.
Mrs. Kopchik made a motion to approve the AIA Agreement for the 2017 SSHP Application.  Seconded
by Mrs. Fatse and approved unanimously.

Update from the Duly Elected Stern Village Resident Association
Mrs. Dowd reported the following:
1. Two vacancies were filled – Ralph Claudio was introduced as a new board member.
2. Request will be submitted for $250 to the Board for paper and printing supplies.
3. John has obtained 180 signatures regarding the repair of the sidewalks and roads.  John noted
there is a meeting on Thursday about this with the Town.  Encouraged residents to attend to get
information.
4. Gloria is working on the Welcoming Committee.  Working on an information booklet for
residents.  Ms. Polansky noted she has cards that can be used to send to residents.
5. Traffic light was discussed.
6. Do not have a Secretary/Treasurer.  At this time, it is a shared responsibility.

Resident Comments
Joan Conte – Thanked everyone for the walkway she asked for at the last meeting.  It worked out well
after the storm.

Adjournment
There being no further business, Mrs. Kopchik moved to adjourn the meeting at 4:37 pm.  Seconded by
Mrs. Fatse and approved unanimously.

Respectfully submitted,

Barbara Crandall
Clerk

Minutes THA February 2017

Trumbull Housing Authority – February 27, 2017

Trumbull Housing Authority
February 27, 2017
4:00 pm
Community Room of Stern Village

Commissioners Present:  Chairman Janice Kopchik, Susan Fatse and Deborah Dowd

Also Present:  Executive Director Harriet Polansky

Commissioners Absent:  Commissioners Suzanne Donofrio and Paul Niebuhr

The meeting was called to order at 4:05 pm by Chairman Kopchik followed by Roll Call and the Pledge of
Allegiance.

Past Minutes
1. Motion was made by Mrs. Kopchik to approve the minutes of January 23, 2017 as written.
Seconded by Mrs. Fatse and approved unanimously.
2. Approval of the minutes of February 13, 2017 was moved to the March meeting.

Treasurer’s Report
Ms. Dowd reported for the Trumbull Housing Authority for the period ending January 31, 2017.  Stern
Village and Stern Center had an overall loss of approximately $54,293.  This is attributable to the
numerous vacancies in the Village and Center, reducing the rental income by $36,000, as well as
additional legal expenses of $10,000 and costs of advertising for the wait list opening and necessary
credit checks totaling $8,000.  Currently our reserve balance is $1,482,284 which is approximately
$6,677 for each unit in the entire complex.  It was explained that the increase in legal fees was due
partially to evictions.

Director’s Report
Ms. Polansky reported the overall cash position as of January 31, 2017 showed a balance of $948,640
including the investment account.  Accounts Payable is approximately $63,397, including the PILOT
accrual for the current year.  Ms. Polansky will continue to look at other projects to further improve the
facility within the realm of affordability, need and security.
Ms. Polansky is working on the 2017 Small Cities Grant to be used for new windows for 186 units.  She
will meet later with a sub‐committee of the Town Council to ask them to approve the Small Cities Grant
to be used for this purpose.
Ms. Polansky is applying for funds with the State for exterior improvements to the Village buildings as
well as for the Congregate.

Neil is working on a 501(3)(c) that will be used to get additional money into the property by getting
HTCC money and money from other sources.  Under the HTCC program, a non‐profit corporation can
receive up to $500,000 annually in State tax credits which can then be sold to State business firms in
return for cash contributions to the non‐profit corporation’s housing program.  Each year CHFA allocates
up to $10 million in State HTCC tax credits on a competitive basis to non‐profit corporations.  Neil, Ms.
Polansky, Frank and Bruce from Millennium and George Wiles met with CHFA and DOH for a pre‐
application meeting.  The State does not have Rental Assistance any more so we are looking at health
and safety issues which are the roads, pathways, curbs, sidewalks, sewers, roofs, doors, insulation, etc.
For the Congregate it is more mechanical systems such as replacing the generator, adding attic
insulation, replacing the boiler – things that affect all residents.  We are asking the State to provide us
funding to fix our infrastructure issues that affect every resident.  There is not enough funding available
to tackle the inside of each unit at this time.
At the present time, the Village has five vacancies and the Congregate has three vacancies.  May have to
open up a wait list again but Ms. Polansky is waiting on directive from the State based on the meeting
today.

Unfinished Business
None.

New Business
None.

Update from the Stern Village Resident Association
Ralph Claudio reported the following:
1. Resident Association Board Vacancy Filled –Two nominations for the vacant Member‐at‐Large
position on the Stern Village Resident Association Board were received at the February 7, 2017
Resident Association Meeting.  Nominations included Ralph Claudio and Judith Restieri.
Members had an opportunity to hear from both candidates.  A vote was conducted and Ralph
Claudio was elected to serve the remaining term for the Member‐at‐Large position on the
Resident Association Board.
2. Request for Funding of Resident Association – The Stern Village Resident Association
respectfully submitted a request for funding.
3. Road/Sidewalk Repairs Petition and Town Hall Meeting – The Resident Association has been
collecting signatures to be submitted to the Town of Trumbull to repair the roads and sidewalks
of the Stern Village community.  A total of 180 signatures of support have been collected.  The
Association is seeking to coordinate a Town Hall Meeting which would afford residents the
opportunity to speak with town representatives to engage their support in addressing this issue.
4. Welcome Packet Committee – The Resident Association will be developing a Welcome Packet to
provide to new residents upon move‐in.  The Association has established a committee and will
be working to develop the materials to be included in the packet.  All residents’ ideas and
suggestions are welcome.
5. Sunshine Club – The Resident Association has formed a Sunshine Club which will recognize
residents for birthdays, anniversaries, when ill or hospitalized and upon moving in or moving
out.  A Sunshine Club Participation form will be distributed to all residents during March.
Residents will be able to select if and how they will participate.
It was noted by the Board that the Association must have a Treasurer before this funding will be
addressed.

Resident Comments
1. Joan – requested if the Maintenance Department could plow out to the parking lot so that
people can get to the cars and the Congregate.  She requested a more direct route over the
grassy area be cleared.
Ms. Polansky will speak with the Maintenance Department to see if this would be a problem.  It may
become slippery and cause a falling hazard.
2. Bob – also requested some type of path to the circle by his apartment so that residents do not
have to walk all the way around to get to the sidewalk.
The Board suggested that a work order be done so that the Maintenance Department will know the area
to work on.  Ms. Polansky will walk with the residents to see exactly what needs to be done.
3. El – spoke about the sidewalks and noted that the sidewalks are bad with cracks and are
uneven.  This is a health issue.
Mrs. Polansky noted she met with the State regarding the application for the 2017 State‐Sponsored
Housing Program Funding Round to talk about the acute health and safety issues that have to be
addressed which includes roads, paths, curbs and sidewalks.  This work would be over $800,000.
4. Christine – noted that she spends a lot of money on her clothes, socks, towels.  Complained that
her personal belongings have disappeared.  Someone comes in every day when she is walking
her dog and takes her belongings.  She stated the stealing has to stop.  Someone is searching
into her medications, clothes, money, wallet – she has had enough.
Ms. Polansky asked if a Police report had been done.  Christine said yes.  Christine noted she has a sign
on her door not to come in but when they see her walking her dog they come in.  Ms. Polansky asked
who has a key.  Christine replied that Ms. Polansky did.  Ms. Polansky noted she has a master key for
everyone’s apartment.  Christine does not know how people get into her apartment but she does know
that Ms. Polansky and Maintenance have keys.  Ms. Polansky assured Christine that her staff is not going
into her apartment to steal her belongings.  Christine stated that it could also be Ms. Polansky that is
stealing her belongings.  Christine also has a list of others who have things missing.
5. Dorothy – asked if the Housing Authority provided land lines to the residents.  She noted she has
a problem with her T‐Mobile cell phone service and would like a land line.  She also asked about
a traffic light as you come out of the village.
It was noted that land lines are the responsibility of the resident.  It was also noted that T‐Mobile is
building a tower in Trumbull Center within the next few months that will help with service.  A traffic light
would be a State issue.
6. Donna – noted that the snow from her front roof melts onto the area in the front of her building
and there is a lot of ice when it refreezes.  The walkway is on a hill and it is dangerous.
Mrs. Polansky will do a work order for Maintenance to see if they can find a way to help this situation.
7. John – noted the Resident Association does not have a specific Treasurer or Secretary as it is a
shared responsibility at this time.
Kim from TOVAH noted that the Association is allowed to have separate or shared responsibility for
these positions.  They need to open up a bank account and deposit funds.  A financial statement will be
provided to the Board and the Association members.

Adjournment
There being no further business, motion was made by Mrs. Kopchik to adjourn the meeting at 4:37 pm.
Seconded by Mrs. Fatse and approved unanimously.

Respectfully submitted,

Barbara Crandall
Clerk

Minutes THA January 2017

Trumbull Housing Authority

January 23, 2017

4:00 pm

Community Room of Stern Village

 

Commissioners Present: Commissioners Suzanne Donofrio, Susan Fatse, Janice Kopchik

 

Also Present: Executive Director Harriet Polansky

 

Commissioners Absent: Deborah Dowd and Paul Niebuhr

 

The meeting was called to order at 4:06 pm by Mrs. Kopchik.   Roll call was conducted followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.

 

Past Minutes

Motion was made by Mrs. Kopchik to approve the minutes of December 28, 2016. Ms. Polansky noted two changes to the Commissioners’ names – Susan Fatse and Suzanne Donofrio.  Page 1 under Unfinished Business, second to last sentence should read – “voting to elect a Tenant Commission”.  All references to the State in New Business #2 should be capitalized. Seconded by Mrs. Donofrio to approve as amended.  Approved unanimously.

 

Treasurer’s Report

Ms. Polansky reported in the absence of Mrs. Dowd for the six months ending December 31, 2016. Stern Village and Stern Center currently has an overall loss of approximately $11,840. This is attributable to the numerous vacancies in the Village and Center, reducing the rental income, as well as additional legal expenses, costs of advertising for the wait list openings and necessary credit checks.  Currently the reserve balance is $1,519,219, which is approximately $6,843 for each unit in the entire complex.

 

Executive Director’s Report

Ms. Polansky noted the overall cash position as of December 31, 2016 showed a balance of $1,008,455, including the investment account. As of December 31, 2016, Accounts Payable was approximately $72,976, including the PILOT accrual for the current year.

 

The loss has decreased from last month. The biggest issue is the loss of rental income which will be made up.   Water usage has increased as well as the fee, maintenance costs have increased due to overtime with snow, plumbing issues and rehabbing units and some additional legal fees.

 

Ms. Polansky noted they are off to a great start this year. Vacancies have been filled and new residents have joined the Stern Village family.  Many have already moved in and have participated in activities.  There are two vacancies in the Congregate.  Ms. Polansky will continue to look at other projects to further improve the facility within the realm of affordability, need and security.

 

Several issues have been tackled and she is doing her best to prevent additional problems before they arise. Since December they have:

  1. Replaced a roof on one of the buildings in the village
  2. Started to replace the subfloors as deemed unsafe
  3. Looked at several potential contractors for the heat pumps at Stern Village, looking at the electric panels and units. Jeff Holt (Manager) has answered several questions. The information for bidding on the heat pumps is on the Town’s website.
  4. Started to compile the necessary documents and associated costs to apply for SSHP 2017 for the Congregate and 2017 Small Cities Application.
  5. Worked on implementing a new lease for the Village and Congregate when tenant recertifications are conducted in March. A draft lease has been reviewed with approximately 50 residents at 2 separate meetings and they had positive feedback.

 

Unfinished Business

No unfinished business.

 

New Business

  1. Ms. Polansky noted the Town is applying for the 2017 Small Cities Grant for Stern Village. They are looking at $800,000 to be used to replace the windows. Ms. Polansky is working with UI to offset some of the cost through incentives. George Wiles, from Wiles Architects, is working on this initiative as he has been involved with the project from the beginning. Mr. Wiles spoke on improving the building envelope to include changes in the energy codes implemented in October 2016 noting that any window over 5-7 years in age is not up-to-date according to code. The windows in the complex are much older and they will be replaced with high efficiency windows which will improve thermal performance. He reviewed the replacement procedure and the scope of his firm with regard to the installation. 905 windows are planned to be replaced. Mr. Wiles will provide information to UI as the scope of work needs to be described in the RFP. Ms. Polansky noted the DOH requires different on-site visits which makes the architectural firm a part of the project.

 

After discussion, Mrs. Kopchik motioned to approve Wiles & Architects to provide constructions, bid documents and construction administration services for the replacement of all exterior windows in 186 units of Stern Village. Seconded by Mrs. Fatse and approved.

 

Stern Village Resident Association Update

Mrs. Fisher noted there will be an election to fill a vacant position on the Association Board. This will be in held in February and supervised by Kim.  Nominees will not be held to the prior list but will include any resident who wishes to submit their names.

 

The Board will need to devise a plan for others to report to the THA Commission in the absence of the elected official. It was suggested by Mrs. Donofrio that the Association plan on making a report at all Commission meetings whether by the elected official or a stand-in.

 

Resident Comments

Paul Littlefield read the following statement:  “With all due respect, let it be spread on the minutes of this meeting that the Stern Village Tenants’ Association, Inc. strongly urges this Board stop the installation of mini split heat pumps in the apartments of Stern Village to replace the efficient electric-resistance baseboard heating and window AC units, out of concern for the safety and wellbeing of elderly leaseholders.

 

Consider that the large body of objectively based studies, including the Eversource electric company, conclusively demonstrates that heat pumps are not a safe alternative for use in elderly housing as they fail to adequately heat the apartments. They create drafts and they are not dependable.

 

Heat pumps are notorious for their inadequate production of heating and cooling, when heating and cooling are needed the most. The literature states that when the outside temperature drops below 25 degrees F, the heat pumps fail to maintain adequate heat for elderly tenants.  Heat pumps fail to adequately distribute sufficient heating to the bathrooms.

 

An architect and an engineer were hired but you failed to get a consultant in gerontology, one who specializes in the knowledge of the elderly. Installing heat pumps will but the elderly tenants at risk.

 

Heat pumps are high tech and high maintenance. They need to be cleared of ice and snow to function.  Can you see an elderly heart patient going out in a snow storm to clear off the snow and ice?  The costs to maintain and service heat pumps will not be cheap and will add to the pressures for rent increases.

 

This Board and the First Selectman have a duty to do due diligence. You need to do your homework and, if you do, you will find out that the installation of heat pumps will not accomplish what you intend and that they will have the unintended consequences of putting the elderly leaseholders at risk.  It is your obligation and responsibility to provide decent, safe and sanitary facilities.  Considerable time has been put into research and we leave with you a token of such research from Eversource and the Cold Climate Housing Research Center.  Respectfully,   Paul Littlefield”.  Mr. Littlefield provided additional information to the Commissioners to review.

 

Sandra Fisher – stated she understands the current heating system will remain in the event of a failure of the heat pumps.  She believes that anything the Board would approve would not be detrimental to the residents.  She also noted that the Maintenance staff is great and would like a letter to be written to acknowledge what they do.

 

Kim has helped with the meetings of the new Tenant Association and has guided them as a new Board. She will be with them for the next six months and will be able to help them know what to do in the future.

 

Joan – Agreed about the windows.  Her concern is air conditioning in the summer with respiratory problems.  She requested that the next issue to be addressed be the walkways because people are falling.

 

Adjournment

There being no further business, motion was made by Mrs. Kopchik to adjourn the meeting at 4:41 pm. Seconded by Mrs. Fatse.  Approved unanimously.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

 

Barbara Crandall

Clerk

 

 

 

Minutes Special THA May 2016

Trumbull Housing Authority
May 9, 2016
4:00 pm
Community Room of Stern Village

Commissioners Present: Chairman, Janice Kopchik, Commissioner Thelma Burr and Suzanne Donofrio

Also Present: Executive Director Harriet Polansky

The meeting was called to order at 4:02 pm by Chairman Kopchik. Roll call was conducted followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.

Mrs. Kopchik moved the Resident Comments to the end of the meeting.

New Business
Discussion and Possible Action regarding the Stern Village Tenants Association – Mrs. Kopchik noted that at the February 22, 2016 Trumbull Housing Authority Board meeting, Kim from TOVAH discussed Project Reach and her role in working with the residents of the Trumbull Housing Authority through Project Reach. On behalf of the residents of the Trumbull Housing Authority, Kim requested that the Trumbull Housing Authority Board of Commissioners engage the legal counsel of the Trumbull Housing Authority to act upon the interests and desires of the residents who wish to participate in their community via the Tenant Association and ensure that they are provided with equal opportunity to do so. Minutes are available from that meeting for review.

Mrs. Kopchik introduced Attorney Chris Russo who provided the findings of the Stern Village Tenants Association (SVTA).

Mr. Russo stated he was asked to look into the compliance aspect of the Stern Village Tenants Association with regard to state and federal law. The laws were reviewed and he corresponded with multiple attorneys that were representing Mr. Littlefield who is a resident here and the Stern Village Tenants Association. They requested a number of documents from each of them.

He noted the basic path the law goes through starts with Chapter 128. Sec. 8-41(b). This Chapter of the CT General Statutes deals with zoning, planning, and housing community development. This particular chapter also talks about municipal housing projects. The section deals with tenant commissioners but also deals with tenant organizations. This was reviewed as to what direction would be an appropriate tenant organization at Stern Village. Section 8-41(b) reads

“The authority shall designate a tenant organization as a recognized jurisdiction wide tenant organization only if the members of the governing body of such tenant organization were elected through a jurisdiction wide election and such tenant organization satisfies the requirements for election jurisdiction wide resident councils pursuant to regulations promulgated by the U.S. Department of Housing Development HUD.”

The Connecticut law directs to the federal law for standards that must be followed. CT 24 CFR 964 is the federal regulation they refer to. This lists a number of requirements.

The purpose of the regulation is to recognize the importance of resident’s involvement in creating a positive living environment and actively participating in the overall mission of public housing. The policy on tenant participation is that HUD promotes resident participation in the active involvement of residents in all aspects of the housing authority overall mission operation. As long as proper procedures are followed, the housing authority shall recognize the duly elected resident council to participate fully through a working relationship with the housing authority. HUD encourages housing authorities to work together. The federal law is connected to the state law and they say the same thing. The important thing is that proper procedures are followed. The housing authority has a duty to make sure that proper procedures are followed and these procedures are laid out in regulation. Mr. Russo focused on the procedures which are related to the Stern Village/Trumbull Housing Authority situation.

One section is 964.115 and it deals with resident council requirements. Resident council and tenant organizations are really interchangeable. It states a resident council must meet each of the following requirements in order to receive official recognition from the housing authority. Mr. Russo stressed the requirements that were important:

1. Must adopt written procedures such as bylaws which provide for the election of residents to the governing board by the voting membership of the residents residing in the housing. This has to be on a regular basis at least once every three years.
2. Written procedures must also provide for a recall election by the voting membership and the threshold for a recall election shall not be less than 10 percent of the voting membership.
3. Must have a democratically selected governing board that is elected by the voting membership. At a minimum, the governing board should consist of 5 elected board members. The voting membership must consist of heads of household and other resident of at least 18 years of age and older and whose name appears on the lease. The term voting membership is key because if there is not a proper voting membership and your bylaws call for a voting membership, it is a fatal flaw in the bylaws. This must be according with the federal law.
4. Election procedures and standards section is about bylaws and how those organizations are constituted. A resident council shall use an independent third party to oversee elections and recall procedures. This is not the housing authority or the tenant organization. The following minimum standards for election procedures must be followed:
a. All procedures must assure fair and frequent election of resident council members at least once every three years for each member.
b. Each member of the resident council shall adopt and issue election and recall procedures in their bylaws.
c. Election procedures shall include qualifications for office, frequency of elections and procedures for recall and limits, if desired.
d. All voting members of the resident community must be given at least 30 days notice for nominations and elections. The notice should include a description of election procedures, eligibility requirements and dates of nominations and elections.
e. If a resident council fails to satisfy HUD minimum standards for fair and frequent elections, or fails to follows its own election procedures as adopted, HUD shall require the housing authority to withdraw recognition of the resident council.

The Stern Village Tenants Association would need to meet these requirements. Mr. Russo was contacted by Attorney William Palmieri who represented the Stern Village Tenant Association and Mr. Littlefield. He was requested to provide documents related to these requirements and he was unable to produce any. Next Attorney William Whewell was contacted on 3/15/16 for documents relating to meeting these requirements and several other documents. Response was received on 3/29 and no documents were provided. Mr. Russo read the response which is attached to these minutes.

A copy of the original bylaws was also reviewed but there is no evidence they have been revised. There are several requirements missing with regard to elections and voting threshold. There is also a problem with member dues being required to vote. This is not a requirement under HUD. With HUD, you have to be head of household with a lease with Stern Village. This all compromises whether the Stern Village Tenant Association should be recognized. No election information has been received. If it was not in compliance with one of these requirements, the housing authority would need to withdraw recognition. In this case, none of the requirements have been met.

Mr. Russo has instructed the housing authority, even if there was never any recognition given to the SVTA, to make clear they are withdrawing any recognition of the SVTA. It does not follow with federal or state law and violates the standards in numerous areas. Unfortunately, the attorneys for the other side did not provide any documentation or cooperate with requests. The federal law encourages the housing authority to be active in engaging a tenant organization. It was the opinion of the SVTA that the housing authority had no oversight of the SVTA. Some internal topics are not within the oversight of the housing authority but making sure it is duly elected and the voting membership is appropriate is on the housing authority to make sure it is done in accordance with the law.

The housing authority has been advised to proactively move to a duly elected and constituted organization. The housing authority and tenant organization should be working together on decisions and the law actively encourages the housing authority to do so. He is advising the housing authority to withdraw recognition of the SVTA and also push to get a properly constituted tenant organization.

This meeting was noticed by agenda and a robo call was sent out. A document request was sent to his lawyer which stated the housing authority needed this information. We did not believe this organization was duly elected and this information would let us determine if this is the case. It was made clear they did not feel it was duly elected and that a new one should be formed. There has been a lot of time put towards this issue.

Mrs. Kopchik made a motion to approve the findings of Attorney Russo detailed in the submitted Opinion Letter addressed to Harriet Polansky, Executive Director of Stern Village, on May 2, 2016 and pursuant to those findings, to formally withdraw recognition of the Stern Village Tenants Association as a duly elected tenant organization pursuant to Chapter 128, Section 8-41(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes and 24 CFR 964 of the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations. Motion was seconded by Mrs. Donofrio and approved unanimously.

Kim from TOVAH applauded the efforts of the Board of Commissioners. This situation is not typically seen and by making this motion and decision it opens up the door to work towards and establish a duly elected resident association. Kim presented a time line of events to move this forward which is attached to the minutes. She also discussed the updating of the bylaws and elections.

Question was asked regarding the League of Women Voters and the legality of the election. The issue has been that since the people were elected they have not functioned in a way that is consistent with State and Federal law. Mr. Russo noted he had requested this material from the attorney and it was not provided. It is unknown if the election was done properly. If Mr. Littlefield wants to contest anything, he would need to provide information for review. It was noted in the Opinion Letter that the association was not in compliance. Mrs. Kopchik noted that Mr. Littlefield was reminded at all the meetings that he could only speak for himself, not the tenant association.

Resident Comments
In moving forward, we will not be mentioning tenants association. Kim noted that all correspondence will be written on TOVAH letterhead until the bylaws are approved. There is no reason to address the old tenant association.

Jackie Hyzynski –hopes that this is an end to the situation and that we can move forward before the State doesn’t have any money to help us.

Adjournment
There being no further business, motion was made by Mrs. Kopchik to adjourn the meeting at 4:48 pm. Seconded by Mrs. Donofrio and approved unanimously.

Respectfully submitted,

Barbara Crandall
Clerk

These minutes are considered a draft until approved at the next meeting of the Trumbull Housing Authority.