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Housing Services

 

Site 61-11 (Pleasant Circle, Plum)

316 Pleasant Drive, Opelika, Alabama

Office (334) 741-7466 Fax (334) 741-4216

61-11 (Church Court, Henderson Dr, Newell, Church Ave.)

145 Henderson Drive, Camp Hill, Alabama

Office (256) 896-4138 (Fax) 896-4138

Site 61-12 (Toomer, Cherry, W.E. Morton, South & North Antioch)

1706 Toomer Street, Opelika, Alabama

Office (334) 745-4171 Fax (334) 745-6783

Site 61-13 (Samford, Fruitwood, Raintree, Maple, Chester, Alice Pl, Potter Court)

1202 Samford Place, Opelika, Alabama

Office (334) 745-7537 Fax (334) 741-9236

The Housing Services staff is responsible for the daily management of all development sites.

Do I have to Participate in Community Service?

Unless you are exempt as listed below, it is mandatory for all adults who are 18 years of age and older to perform 8 hours a month of Community Service. In order to remain eligible for Public Housing, all non-exempt family members must comply with the Community Service Requirement. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development penalizes housing authorities who do not enforce this requirement and there is an even greater penalty for those non-exempt families who do not comply; that penalty will be Eviction from their Public Housing unit.

WHO IS EXEMPT FROM COMMUNITY SERVICE?

I. Adults who are working at least 20 hours per week

(Employment Verification form will serve as documentation)

II. Family members who have a disability

III. Families who are receiving TANF

IV. Adults who are caring for a blind or disabled family member

V. Adults who are enrolled at least (part or full-time) in a recognized school, training program, or school of higher learning.

VI. Anyone participating in FSS (the Family Self-Sufficiency Program), Employment Support or Welfare to Work Program

VII. Anyone who is 62 years of age or older

VIII. Adults who are blind

 

 

 

SUGGESTED COMMUNITY SERVICE AGENCIES

 

 

 

 

Agency Name

Address

Telephone Number

Services Provided

Contact Person

Salvation Army

720 Coulmbus Parkway, Opelika

745-6459

Provides assistance and emergency relief for needy individuals. Volunteers assist w/sorting donations and in other area.

Julie Grace

Family and Children’s Services (Lee SCAN)

Godparent Program

2300 Centerhill Drive, Opelika

742-2112

Provides services to prevent child abuse through parenting programs/school programs, etc. Godparent Program for present teens. Volunteers must attend a training and orientation session.

Jean Spicer, Director

East Alabama Services for the Elderly (Ease)

3320 Skyway Drive, Auburn

826-5811

Provides supportive services for the elderly population.

Volunteers can help with senior programs and in senior centers.

Cherie Hall

Executive Director

Habitat for Humanity of Lee County

605 2nd Avenue, Opelika

745-2123

Provides homeownership opportunities for Lee County residents. Volunteers work includes, assisting in the building of homes and in other areas.

Chad Parish

Director

East Alabama Medical Auxiliary

East Alabama Medical Center

749-3411

Provides volunteer assistance to patients at EAMC.

Shirley James

Volunteer Coordinator

Chattahoochee Council Boy Scouts of America

P.O. Box 5425

Columbus, Ga.

749-7621

Provides character, development, citizenship, training personal fitness, traditional values for boys and girls. Volunteers assist in all areas. Troops in Opelika and Auburn.

Art Blackburn

Local Chairman

Crisis Center of Lee County Inc

P. O. Box 1053

821-8600

Volunteers, provides a caring listener for those in crisis situations and suggest referrals. Provides a kids line. Must go through volunteer training to become a telephone counselor

Doug Reharden

Executive Director

East Alabama Food Bank

315 Industry Drive

821-9006

Solicits, stores and distributes donated food to agencies that serve needy individuals, children and the elderly.

Volunteers assist in all areas.

Martha Faupel

Director

Alabama Council On Human Relations

319 West Glen Ave

Auburn

Darden Head start /Early Head start/ACHR Family Services Center

S. 8th St., Opelika

821-8336

Provides childcare, Head start programs, emergency assistance programs, literacy and commodity food programs. Volunteers assist in the classroom and providing other types of services for different program components.

Nancy Spears

Executive Director

Frankie King

Social Services Director

Hospice of EAMC

665 Opelika Road

826-1899

Assist the terminally ill and their care givers by providing support.

All volunteers must attend a training orientation program.

Contact

Volunteer Coordinator

Opelika Housing Authority

Raintree Community Center

501 Raintree Street

749-5468

Provides programs/activities for Public Housing residents of all ages Volunteers, can assist where needed.

Contact the Director of Resident Services for information on volunteering.

Resident Services

Lee County Literacy Coalition

2133 Executive Park Drive

Opelika

745-0001

Provides reading assistance to those who are unable to read. Volunteers must attend an orientation and training session.

Volunteer Coordinator

Lee County Aids Outreach

P.O. Box 1971

Auburn

887-5244

Volunteers, provides counseling, advocacy, support and referrals for individuals and their family members, who are HIV positive or have the Aids virus. All volunteers must attend orientation and training sessions.

Marilyn Sawyers

Executive Director

Domestic Violence Intervention Center

2183 Opelika Road

749-1515

Provides emergency shelter, counseling, advocacy and referrals for victims of domestic violence and their children. All volunteers must attend a orientation and training sessions.

Volunteer Coordinator

Boys and Girls Club of Lee County

 

Main Office

1610 Toomer Street Opelika, AL

Boykin Community Center

410 Boykin St.

Main Office

745-2582

Boykin Community Center

821-6020

Provides various fun and educational activities to children and young people.

Volunteers can assist with these activities.

Wanda Lewis

Executive Director

Project Uplift, Lee County

Youth Development Center

Haley Center

Auburn University

Campus

844-4430

Volunteers, are matched with low-income children and serve as mentors. Take children on outing and spend quality time with them.

Volunteers must attend orientation/training sessions.

Chris Nunn

Volunteer Coordinator

Opelika Parks and Recreation Department

Main Office

1102 Denson Dr.

Covington Recreation Center

213 Carver Ave.

705-5560

705-5550

Provides programs for all age groups, recreational and educational activities.

Volunteers assist with program needs.

Tommy Agee

Director

Covington Recreation Center

Lee County Humane Society

1338 Shug Jordan Pkwy.

821-32221

Volunteers will assist employees in caring for animals that are in the shelter.

Jack Fisher

Executive Director

Mercy Medical Clinic

1702 Catherine Ct.

Suite 1-A

Auburn

502-1081

This is a non-profit clinic that provides medical/dental care for individuals who do not have any form of health insurance. Volunteers work, assisting w/patient registration/clerical functions. Greeting patients, supervising and reading to children. Volunteers, are trained to address the patients’ spiritual needs and to provide prayer and emotional support.

Contact the clinic directly for information on volunteering.

Rape Counselors of Lee County

2133 Executive Park Drive, Opelika

741-0707

Volunteers, provide support, assistance, advocacy, referrals for rape victims. They also have a speaker’s bureau, which provides volunteer speakers for talks on rape/sexual abuse issues etc.

Volunteers must attend orientation and training sessions.

Sandra Newkirk

Director

Jeter Primary School

Morris Ave. Intermediate

Northside Elementary

Opelika Middle School

Southview Primary

West Forest Intermediate

Opelika High School

Opelika Learning Center

214 Jeter Ave.

8 Morris Ave.

601 N. 5th Street 1206 Denson Dr.

2712 Marvyn Pkwy.

2801 Waverly Pkwy.

1700 Lafayette Pkwy.

214 Jeter Street

745-9723

745-9734

745-9731

745-9731

745-9726

745-9711

745-9737

745-9715

741-5601

These are local elementary, middle and high schools.

Teachers/office staff may need assistance in the classroom and/or with school related projects and events.

For volunteer information, contact the individual school and speak with the principal and/or administrative assistant about volunteering opportunities

Girl Scouts of America

1344 13th St.

Columbus, Ga. 31901

1-800-326-8912

Volunteers, assist with all aspects of this program for girls

For volunteer information, contact Girl Scouts of American.

INCOME

  • What is income?

Annual income is the anticipated total income from all sources received by the family head and spouse (even if temporarily absent) and by each additional member of the family over 18 and not a full-time student. This includes all income derived from assets for the 12 month period following the effective date of certification of income.

  • Is income verified?

All income must be verified. Some sources of income include wages, social security, supplemental security income, child support, TANF, family support, pensions, and asset income. If unreported income is found, this can result in termination of housing assistance.

  • What deductions are allowed?

1. $480 for each member of the family residing in the household who is under 18 years of age, or who is older and handicapped/disabled or a full-time student (other than the head of the household or spouse).

2. $400 for any elderly family.

3. Medical expenses in excess of 3 percent of annual family income of any elderly family.

4. Reasonable child care expenses necessary to enable another member of the family to be employed or to further his or her education.

  • What is total tenant payment?

 

Total tenant payment is the highest of the following (rounded to the nearest dollar):

    • 30 percent of monthly adjusted income, or
    • 10 percent of gross monthly income, or
    • A minimum rent established by OHA in accordance with HUD regulations, or
    • A flat rent established by OHA in accordance with HUD regulations.

What is adjusted income?

  • Adjusted income is annual income less deductions according to HUD instructions.

Do I have to report all changes in my family's income?

Yes! Your rent is based on your adjusted family income. Your are required to let your manager know when there is a change in:

The source of your income (such as from TANF to employment, part-time hours to full-time, or occasional to regular overtime).

The number of people in your family.

Depending on the change, your rent may go up or down. If you do not report these changes within 10 days, you may lose your housing.

WHAT IS ENTERPRISE INCOME VERIFICATION?

Enterprise Income Verification System is a system that enables the Opelika Housing Authority to get information about any Public Housing resident or Section 8 participant’s income. The purpose of HUD’s EIV (Enterprise Income Verification) System is to make income data available from one source, through the Internet, for Public Housing Authorities to use to improve income verification during the time any resident come in for their annual recertification interview. EIV provides the following information:

 

  1. Monthly employer new hires
  2. Quarterly wages (including employer information), Federal wages are available
  3. Quarterly unemployment compensation
  4. Monthly social security (SS) and supplement security income (SSI) benefits

 

The EIV System is available to all PHAs nationwide. Housing Urban Development requires all Public Housing Authorities to use the EIV system in their day-to-day operations.

 

Should you have any questions about the EIV system, please call your Public Housing Manager at (334) 745-4171.

EARNED INCOME DISALLOWANCE (EID)

Earned Income Disallowance allows any Public Housing resident or Section 8 participant who qualifies to have any increase in earn income not included as income @ 100% for the first twelve (12) months and 50% for the next twelve (12) months.

 

Who qualifies for the Earned Income Disallowance?

 

It is available for all adult household members in the public housing program, but is limited to adult household members with disabilities in the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program.

 

How can you qualify?

 

An adult family member must have had an increase in income as a result of employment and who was previously unemployed for one or more years before employment; or

 

Whose annual income increases as a result of increased earnings by a family member during participation in any economic self-sufficiency or other job training program; or

 

Whose annual income increases, as a result of new employment or increase earnings of a family member, during or within six months after receiving assistance, benefits or services under any state program for temporary assistances for needy families (Welfare). You qualify even if you only received a one time payment.

 

Please feel free to contact your Manager for further questions regarding the Earned Income Disallowance at (334) 745-4171.

Paying Rent

  • How is rent calculated?

You are charged a monthly rent that is based on 30 percent of your adjusted household income or 10 percent of your gross household income. The rent is calculated according to federal regulations.

In order to rent a unit, you must sign a written lease. It shows the amount of rent you must pay, what management will provide and what you are expected to do.

  • When is rent due?

Your rent is due on the first day of each month. If you do not pay your rent by the 10th of the month, you will have a late charge added to your account and OHA may begin legal proceedings to collect the money you owe and/or regain possession of your apartment. If the 10th falls on the weekend or a holiday, late charges will not be added until after the first working day following the 10th.

  • How and where do I pay rent?

 

OHA does not accept cash. You are urged to make your rent payment by MAILING A CHECK OR MONEY ORDER TO OPELIKA HOUSING AUTHORITY, P.O. BOX 786, OPELIKA, AL. 36803-0786. Be sure to include the return portion of your billing statement, and write your correct address and account number on the check or money order.

  • What if I have good reason for not paying rent on time?

In certain cases of hardship beyond a family's control, management may be able to provide emergency financial help. If you believe that is your situation, you must tell OHA about it before your rent is due.

  • Will my rent be changed every year?

Your rent may be changed any time your income or family size changes. In a few situations, earned income will not result in an increase in your rent. Your income and family composition must be checked by OHA at least once a year, even if there are no changes. The details are explained in your lease and in OHA's Admission and Occupancy Policy.

  • Is there a maximum rent?

For several years, OHA has had a maximum rent, called "flat" rent. The flat rent is based on the number of bedrooms in the apartment. The flat rent is designed to encourage residents to go to work and limit the amount of their rent increase. These rents will continue in effect throughout 2002.

  • What happens if I give false or incomplete information?

If you knowingly give false or incomplete information or answers to questions about your income, family size or similar matters, OHA will seek eviction, back charges and possibly criminal prosecution. Information you provide must be truthful, accurate and up to date at all times. OHA verifies all income with employers. Be sure to report all changes in income or family size to OHA within 10 days from the date of change.

MOTOR VEHICLES

  • Does OHA require vehicles to be registered?

No, but all vehicles must have a current license plate and be in operating condition.

  • How can I prevent traffic accidents in my complex?

Don't drive faster than the posted speed limits and be very alert when driving through the developments. Be alert for children playing and for elderly or handicapped people who depend on your careful driving for their safety. You should especially observe speed zones posted within complexes where children often play.

  • Where should I park my car or truck?

OHA does not have designated parking spaces. Common courtesy and neighborly concern should be used when parking vehicles. Streets and paved lots on OHA property are used for parking vehicles. If you park your car or truck on the grounds, on sidewalks, blocking fire lanes or in any other illegal place, it may be towed at your expense. You will be charged for any damage to OHA property caused by careless driving or parking on the grounds.

  • Can I wash my vehicle on OHA property?

OHA does not allow residents to wash vehicles on the sites.

  • What about inoperable vehicles?

Inoperable vehicles are not allowed to be on OHA property. You should report abandoned or inoperable vehicles to OHA. A warning notice will be put on the vehicle and if it is not moved, it will be towed at the owner's expense.

  • Can I repair my vehicle on the property?

No, you may not make major repairs to your motor vehicle on OHA property.

  • What about my guest's vehicle?

There are no designated parking spaces. Residents should advise their visitors to park in areas that their neighbors normally do not use.

HOUSEKEEPING

  • Why have a clean house?

A clean house helps keep your family healthy, makes you proud of your home, sets a good example for children and their friends, helps things last longer, helps you find things, and is safer.

  • What is considered good housekeeping?

OHA expects you to keep a clean and orderly home. Good housekeeping makes your home last longer, helps prevent fires and keeps insects and other pests away. You are expected to:

    • Clean grease and spilled food from your oven and stove top after cooking.
    • Don't let dirty dishes and dirty clothes pile up.
    • Keep your floors, windows, counters and cabinets clean.
    • Keep the inside and outside of your refrigerator clean by wiping it with a damp cloth regularly.
    • Scrub your tub; shower and toilets as needed to keep them clean.
    • Throw away your kitchen garbage and household trash every day.
    • Prevent stains or damage to your walls.

  • Cleaning tips for residents.

The following cleaning tips are intended to help make your daily cleaning easier.

Your oven, stove and range hood should be cleaned at least once a week. Wiping spills as they happen will make this much easier. If you are not sure how to clean your stove and oven, ask OHA staff.

Defrost your refrigerator (if it's not frost free). Be careful not to damage it with knives or other sharp tools, and don't use an electric defroster, or you may end up with a repair bill. Instead, turn it off before you go to bed and simply remove any ice and water in the morning.

Bathroom sinks; tubs and toilets should also be cleaned regularly. Do not flush any objects such as hairbrushes, sanitary napkins, tampons or diapers down the toilet. If articles have to be removed from your sewer line, you could be charged accordingly.

  • What happens if I'm a poor housekeeper?

If your home is dirty, cluttered or otherwise shows poor housekeeping, you will be warned to correct the problems right away. You may also be required to go to special classes to learn better housekeeping habits. If the problem is not corrected, you may be evicted under your lease agreement for failure to maintain your unit for repairs.

  • Can I have a pet?

OHA has a new policy. Certain types of pets will be allowed at some family complexes. A deposit and monthly fee will be charged for each pet. For the safety of all residents, there will be strict rules regarding a pet's size, weight, neutering or spaying and getting all shots required by law.

LEASE VIOLATIONS

  • Why are some residents evicted?

As long as any resident fails to pay rent, destroys property, or violates their lease, management must seek eviction to keep housing in decent condition for the majority of residents who follow the rules.

There are two types of eviction:

    • Serious lease violations.
    • Nonpayment of rent.

  • What are serious lease violations?

Failure to report changes in income or family size accurately and/or timely, destruction of OHA property, keeping unauthorized pets, poor housekeeping habits, fighting, displaying weapons, or threatening the health and safety of other residents and staff are all serious lease violations that can result in eviction.

  • What about illegal drug use or alcohol abuse?

OHA will evict residents who engage in illegal drug use or drug-related criminal activity. Residents can also be evicted for alcohol abuse if they adversely affect their neighbors. Residents who violate their lease in this manner will be notified of their violation in writing and will receive either a 30-day notice of lease termination or (in the most serious cases) a three-day notice of lease termination.

  • What happens if I don't pay rent?

After the last day for the payment of rent, the 10th of each month or the first working day after the 10th, a notice of lease termination/demand for possession is sent to all residents who have not paid their rent and/or other charges on time. This is called a 14-day Notice of Termination of Tenancy/Demand for Possession Notice. After this time expires and payment has not been received, OHA will continue with the eviction process through the court. All legal fees and court costs incurred will be added to your account. The Sheriff's Department will serve you with the eviction notices stating a time frame you will need to respond in order to receive a court hearing. Failure to respond or after court hearing and judgment is given for possession of the housing unit to management, OHA has the right to remove the resident and the belongings from the apartment with a representative from the Sheriff's Department present.

Don't let this happen to you! Please pay all rent and charges promptly so that you do not have to go to court and then pay extra charges.

RESIDENT HOTLINE - (334) 704-0072

All of our residents are encouraged to call the Resident Hotline to make us aware of any situation that requires our attention. You may leave messages regarding concerns or suggestions for improving our community. Your message may include but is not limited to:

      1. Noise
      2. Poor housekeeping.
      3. Unsupervised children.
      4. Illegal or Criminal activities.
      5. Any problems in your community.

DECORATING

  • Why does OHA have to inspect my housing unit?

Federal regulations require management to inspect your home:

    • When you move in.
    • At least once a year.
    • When you move out.

OHA also has the right to inspect a unit and will conduct special inspections between regular annual inspections. You will normally be given at least two days before an inspector visits, unless an emergency exists.

  • What kinds of decorating are allowed in my home?

You are welcome to add personal touches to your home, but certain permanent or damaging changes cannot be allowed at all or must be restricted. Here are some basic guidelines:

    • You may put curtains, throw rugs, pictures and decorative items in your apartment.
    • Decorate with removable materials and fasteners that don't cause damage to walls, floors, doors and appliances. (Don't attach plastic coverings to cabinets, refrigerators, or similar surfaces for example.)
    • Use removable strips to attach rugs and carpets to floors. No permanent types of carpet or floor coverings are allowed. OHA will not replace or reimburse residents for rugs or carpeting that becomes damaged. (I.e.. Water damage due to overflow of commode or burst hot water heater.)
    • You may lay telephone, television, or electrical cords or cables only along the wall, preferably behind furniture. They may not run across doorways, hallways, or the floor where someone could trip on them. You cannot change cabinets, counters, doors, floor coverings, plumbing fixtures or appliances. Do not put permanent shelves on walls.
    • Ceiling hooks are not allowed.
    • Wallpaper is not allowed, and painting of walls can only be done with written permission from management.

Remember, you will be charged for all repairs required to fix the unit for the next resident, except for normal wear and tear.

  • Can I install appliances and similar equipment?

You may install an air conditioner, washer or dryer only if suitable water supply fixtures, electrical service, exhaust vent and drains already exist. Please check with management before installing any major item.

  • May I have a waterbed?

No! Because of possible damage to the unit, waterbeds are not permitted in any OHA housing.

Home Protection

Crime Prevention is defined is the anticipation, recognition, and appraisal of a crime risk, and the initiation of some action to remove or reduce it. You can have a significant effect upon the security of your residence by taking a few moments to assess its weaknesses and a few more moments to take simple actions to eliminate or strengthen those weaknesses. Keeping your residence neat and clean, in good repair, and giving the appearance of being home is the first fundamental step toward preventing crime there. The second fundamental step toward home crime prevention is to be a good neighbor. Get to know your neighbors and their habits to the extent that you can recognize deviations from normal behavior (and they can do the same for you). Call the police when you observe a stranger behaving in a suspicious manner (loitering and observing, approaching multiple residences without apparent business, or removing property from a neighbor's residence). A cooperative neighborhood can increase everyone's collective home security with very little individual effort or time. A third fundamental step is to take prompt action to address maintenance problems affecting your security; report burnt-out lights, uncollected trash, graffiti, broken windows, defective security systems and other conditions which detract from the secure appearance of your residence promptly to the appropriate authorities for correction. Finally, make an effort to cooperate with and support your law enforcement provider. Introduce yourself to the officers who patrol your neighborhood; participate in organized resident meetings and programs. In order to "protect your home", you have to learn to "think like a thief". Consider how a criminal might attach you, your home, or your belongings, and eliminate as many of the opportunities or vulnerable points as you can. When you've done your best, ask a trusted friend to try the same thing. When you've addressed any new problems your friend points out, then consider asking your local law enforcement provider whether they conduct home security surveys; if they do, schedule one. Consider how your name appears on public listings like telephone directories; it is generally considered prudent for females not to list their first name, but instead to list a first initial and last name. While unlisting your telephone number costs extra with some providers, the privacy may be worth the cost. Bear in mind, however, that unlisting your number will not prevent random malicious calls or telephone solicitation. The single best protection against theft loss is to mark every piece of property you own as yours. Recording the serial numbers and other identifiers during the marking process helps ensure that you can positively identify your property if it is taken and subsequently recovered, or that you can prove ownership if there is some question. Almost any article can be marked in some manner. You should keep an inventory of your personal property in a safe place (definitely not in or with the property) so that in the event of theft or other loss, you have the information need to make a police report and/or an insurance claim.



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