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Welcome

Hi there! Thanks for checking out our brand-new Housing Blog! This is our very first blog. We are venturing out into the unknown, hoping to strengthen our connection with tenants and landlords. We know the world of HUD, a.k.a. U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, can be super confusing and has a language all its own. So, stay tuned for helpful information that will be delivered monthly. Examples of topics include: How to participate as a landlord; qualities of a good tenant; inspections; housing resources; program expectations; pathways to self-sufficiency; and program participant testimonies.

January 2019: Possible Effects of Government Shutdown on SEK-CAP Rental Assistance Programs

Timi Myers Let Your Voice Be Heard

Can’t the leaders of our country just come to some kind of agreement? This is getting ridiculous. Every year, agencies that administer federal housing programs sit and wait for congress to come up with a new spending bill so that we can continue providing affordable housing opportunities to people in need. It’s a little stressful. Sure, the government has re-opened for now, but if Congress doesn’t pass a funding bill by February 15th, it will shut down again, leaving agencies like SEK-CAP wondering how they will pay for March Housing Assistance Payments.


Over 50% of the people getting rental assistance from SEK-CAP are elderly or disabled and live on social security benefits. They depend on federal programs, such as HUD Section 8, to keep housing affordable for them. Without Section 8, many of these families will be forced to decide whether to pay the rent or to pay for food and prescriptions. That’s a tough decision… housing or health!? What would you choose?


Landlords will also suffer greatly if a spending bill is not passed before the end of February. Mortgages are still due to the bank and taxes are still owed, even during a lapse in funding for federal housing programs.


We ARE hopeful that congress will come through this year, as they have in the past, to pass a spending bill so that our program participants and landlord partners are not affected. However, if they do not get it together before the end of February, there could be some painful side effects. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has provided very little guidance to Public Housing Authorities during this time, but this is what we DO know:

• HUD is expected to provide Housing Assistance Payments (HAP) for the month of February 2019. SEK-CAP will release HAP checks to landlords and Utility Reimbursements to tenants as usual for February.
• HAP funds have not been obligated to SEK-CAP for the month of March 2019 because congress hasn’t passed a spending bill.
• SEK-CAP has requested HUD-Held Reserves for the month of March, but we were notified that HUD is not processing requests for March yet.
• We have been notified by HUD staff that they expect to provide us with March funding and payment determinations “in the coming weeks.”

 

If we continue into February without a spending bill for federal housing programs, SEK-CAP will take the following measures:

• February Housing Assistance Payments will be made to landlords as usual.
• February Utility Reimbursements payments will be made to tenants that are eligible to receive them, as usual.
• March Housing Assistance Payments and Utility Reimbursements are not guaranteed until we receive notification of funding from HUD.
• Beginning February 1st, new vouchers will not be issued to applicants on the waitlist as a safeguard.

 

But hey, let’s try to put a positive spin on this! This is a chance for you to speak out. Please reach out to your senators and representatives to let them know how you would be affected if there were no funding for Section 8 rental assistance.

 

As events unfold, we will be here to keep you informed. If you have questions or comments, please call to speak with me directly, (620)724-8204, ext. 1004.

 

With hope,

Timi Myers
Housing Services Director

August 2018: Introductions

Since this is our VERY FIRST HOUSING BLOG, I will take some time to introduce the SEK-CAP Housing Staff. If you’ve been to our office in Girard, you’ve probably already met some/all of us. Lucky you! Or maybe you’ve only talked to us on the phone and are trying to imagine what we actually look like in person. Never fear, the Housing Blog is here! Let me introduce you to the amazing, incredible, one-of-a-kind, hard-working, dedicated, easy-to-talk-to, caring SEK-CAP Housing Staff:

 

Janet Swor | Housing Specialist

Janet Swor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you have worked with us before, chances are you’ve at least talked to Janet on the phone. She is famous around our office because she’s been working here for 34 years. Yes, you read that right. I said 34 years. She does a lot of work behind the scenes that you probably don’t even realize, most of it involving stacks and stacks of paper. She handles most of the daily processes like annual recertifications for Section 8 and Tenant Based Rental Assistance (TBRA), background checks, requests for housing assistance payments, monthly rent payments, assistance with paperwork, inspection scheduling, and interim recertifications.

 

Brian Wells | Property Manager

 Brian Wells

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brian is constantly on the go and has been on the go at SEK-CAP for about 10 years. He manages all 54 SEK-CAP rental units, which are scattered all over southeast Kansas. He also manages the maintenance of the SEK-CAP Central Office, Head Start Centers, and Early Head Start Centers. Quality of work is a priority. If it needs to be fixed, he makes sure it gets done quickly. Our rental properties and Head Start Centers are good-looking and safe because of Brian and his crew.


James Mitchell, Roger Reed, and Kevin Todd 

Facilities Maintenance Technicians

Facilities Maintenance Technicians

      Roger Reed      Kevin Todd
James, Roger, and Kevin are always working to make sure repairs are made, equipment is installed, and facilities are safe.  Finding small contractors in southeast Kansas is nearly impossible, that’s why we employ our own crew. These guys travel around, and if it needs fixed, they do it!

 

Timi Myers | Housing Director (that's me!)

 Timi Myers

 

 

 

 

 


I mostly drink coffee and I’m not sure what else I’m supposed to be doing... just kidding!! But I do LOVE coffee. I’ve worked at SEK-CAP for five and a half years, and as the Housing Director for about a year and a half. I’m here to review and update policies, procedures, make sure we are following federal and state rules/regulations (which seem to change or threaten to change every day), listen and assist with landlord/tenant disputes, investigate potential fraud, submit reports, connect our services to other agencies, conduct Housing Quality Standards (HQS) inspections, and whatever else needs to be done.  Working with housing programs offers both opportunities and challenges, but I love that we are giving people a chance to find and hold onto affordable rental housing, which can be pretty scarce these days.

 

Thanks for taking the time to get to know us a little better! I hope you will check back next month!