I’m pleased to report that the Hoboken Housing Authority Board of Commissioners has adopted a new operating budget that reduces expenditures by nearly half a million dollars.
We adopted the new budget for the fiscal year 2010-2011 at our Nov. 10 meeting. While the Hoboken Housing Authority does not derive any revenue from municipal taxes, about 60 percent of our costs come from federal grants, so I’m proud to have taken part in an act of tax relief and operational efficiency improvements, even if the impact is not directly on property-tax bills. I thank and applaud HHA Executive Director Carmelo Garcia, Chairwoman Jean Rodriguez and the rest of my fellow commissioners, as well as our accountant, William Ketchan, for all the efforts collectively made to tighten spending while continuing to improve the quality of life for our residents.
I’m also excited about an update to our waitlist preference system that will now include veterans among those whose status may now expedite an applicant’s process of obtaining an apartment. Currently, the preferences that factor into an applicant’s prioritization are disabilities and being a former or present Hoboken resident. At our meeting last week, which took place the day before Veterans Day, we passed a resolution updating our system, and I proposed adding an additional amendment for veterans, which we will vote on at our December meeting. It is important to remember that a great many people who served our country bravely and honorably, and in many cases suffered permanent injuries, now find themselves in economically challenging situations. We cannot allow these heroes to be left behind and forgotten. We who are in the business of managing government-subsidized affordable housing are in a position to honor our veterans by treating them with priority, and I am proud that the Hoboken Housing Authority is going to do just that. And with Director Garcia having recently recognized a few of our city’s veterans – Vincent Wassman, Orlando Addeo and the late M. Edward DeFazio – we found it fitting to add this preference.
Finally, I would like to remind everyone that the second annual Family & Friends Thanksgiving Dinner will take place this Tuesday, serving all HHA residents. Seniors will be served from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Multi-Service Center at 124 Grand Street, and the rest of the community will be served from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the community room at 411 Marshall Drive. Transportation will be provided for residents of Fox Hill Gardens and Christopher Columbus Gardens.
Hoboken Housing Authority Board of Commissioners