Friday, December 15, 2017
Information for Tenants

INFORMATION FOR RESIDENTS OF THE PUBLIC HOUSING, TAX CREDIT HOUSING AND SECTION 202 HOUSING PROGRAMS

Welcome to the Housing Authority of the County of Lebanon (HACL) and its managed housing programs. HACL owns and manages a wide range of housing developments for families, senior citizens and the disabled throughout Lebanon County. Specifically HACL operates the Public Housing Program, the Tax Credit Housing Program and the Section 202 Housing Program.

The information on this page is applicable to you if you live in any of the following developments: Webster Manor, Washington Arms, Stevens Towers, Gloninger Meadows, Cedar Court, Palmyra Interfaith Manor, Makethouse Place, Palmview, Quittapahilla Commons, Mifflin Mills, Lafayette Street, Steckbeck Street, Meily Street, Federal Street, South 11th Street, East Cherry Street or Weidman Street.

Please note that if you participate in HACL’s Section 8 program, the information on this page is not applicable to you. If you are a Section 8 participant you should visit the Section 8 Housing link on the home page.

While the specific rules and regulations for each of the managed housing programs are somewhat different, we believe the information present below will give you a general understanding or how our managed housing programs work and to point out your rights and responsibilities as a participating family. We recommend that you consult your Lease for specific details, and do not hesitate to ask our management personnel whenever you have any questions.

1. WHAT YOU MAY EXPECT FROM THE HOUSING AUTHORITY

To sign a Lease with you which sets forth what you and the Housing Authority agree to do while you are a resident; To supply you with utilities as specified in the Lease; To review and verify your income and family size annually; To make repairs and improvements when required; To cooperate with other agencies which offer health, recreational, educational or other beneficial services to the residents; To counsel with residents on solving special problems.

2. WHAT THE HOUSING AUTHORITY EXPECTS FROM YOU

To accept the requirements and responsibilities of the Lease. Put no faith in rumors! Check with a Housing Authority office for accurate facts. Visit your management office if you do not understand your Lease or conditions of occupancy.

To pay rent on or before the FIRST of each month.

To respect your neighbors' right to live in peace. Exercise a little effort to control loud radios or TVs, overtime parties, shouting, slamming of doors and unsupervised children. Please remember that a neighborhood environment is created by its residents. The ordinary rules of conduct that govern the average citizen are applicable. Your consideration for the rights of your neighbors and cooperation with the Housing Authority will result in a pleasant relationship for everyone.

To keep your home and immediate surroundings neat and clean. Mow your lawn regularly, and remove snow or ice from sidewalks when necessary.

To report accidents, emergencies and property damage immediately. To use the dwelling equipment carefully and to be careful in the consumption of all utilities.

To report immediately any change in family income or size.

To assume full responsibility for your children. Don’t forget that you will be required to pay for any damage caused by you, your children or your guests.

To NEVER allow unauthorized boarders, lodgers or long term guests to stay in your dwelling.

To provide the required 30-day written notice before you move and to take all of your belongings with you when you leave. Remember, you must provide the Authority with a forwarding address so that your Security Deposit can be returned to you.

3. THE LEASE

The Lease is a formal and legally binding agreement between you, as the Tenant, and the Housing Authority, as the Landlord. It is very important that you read and understand the Lease. If you have a question regarding any of the Lease provisions, please contact our management representatives and they will obtain an answer for you.

4. SECURITY DEPOSIT

In addition to your initial rental payment, a security deposit is required when you sign your Lease. The security deposit will be returned to you, with interest, within 30 days after you move, provided: You do not owe any rent or other costs to the Authority; you have paid for all damages for which you are responsible; you have cleaned your dwelling thoroughly, so that there is no extraordinary cleaning to be done after you leave that would involve unusual expense to the Authority and you have given us thirty (30) days notice in writing that you intend to move.

5. RENTAL PAYMENTS

Please remember that rental payments are due on or before the FIRST day of each month. If your rent is not paid in full by the fifth day of the month you may be subject to a late fee. Did you know that the Housing Authority offers all our residents an electronic rent payment option to help assure timely rental payments? Any residents can request that their monthly rental payment be deducted electronically directly from their checking or savings account. Did you also know that if you select the electronic payment option, the Authority will allow you to select any day of the month as the due date for your rent. You may enroll in the electronic rent payment program by contacting your management office or by completing the Direct Debit Rent Enrollment Form located in the Document Library.

6. RENT TYPES, REEXAMINATION & REPORTING CHANGES

The Public Housing Program If you participate in the Public Housing Program you have a choice of paying either a flat amount of rent each month or having the amount of rent you pay based on a percentage of your income. You will be given the choice to pay the flat or income based rent when you move in and again once each year on your lease anniversary date. If you have decided to pay an income based rent the Housing Authority is required by law to review your family income and family size annually. Once each year you will be required to submit verification of your income or any other circumstances that might affect your residency status.

If you have chosen to pay the flat rent the Housing Authority will only review your family income once every THREE years. However, you may request the Authority to review your circumstances at any time. Generally you would ask for a review if you believe you would pay less rent by converting from the flat rent to the income based rent. However, you may only convert from the income based rent to the flat rent on your lease anniversary date.

Section 202 Program (Palmyra Interfaith Manor) If you live at Palmyra Interfaith Manor your monthly rent is based on 30% of your adjusted income. The Housing Authority is required by law to review your family income and family size annually. Once each year you will be required to submit verification of your income or any other circumstances that might affect your residency status.

Tax Credit Housing Program (Markethouse Place, Palmview, Quittapahilla Commons or Mifflin Mills) If you participate in the Tax Credit Program you pay a flat amount of rent each month. The monthly rent is not based on your income and the rent will not change if your income increases or decreases. Even though rent is not based on income, Tax Credit residents are still subject to a reexamination of income and other information on a regular basis. Contact your property manager to determine the reexamination frequency for your particular housing development.

No matter if you pay a flat or income based rent, all tenants of all developments must report to the Authority any change in family composition within 10 days. In addition, if your rent is based on your income you must report any income changes All changes in income or family composition must be reported in writing (changes reported over the telephone are not accepted). You are encouraged to report your change using the Applicant/Participant Change of Information Form. You can find this form in the Document Library section of this website or you can obtain a copy from your management office. Failure to report any of the required changes within 10 days is a violation of the Lease and may lead to termination of the Lease, retroactive rent charges and/or criminal action. If you have any doubt as to whether you should report a change call your Project Management Office, do not guess!

7. INSPECTIONS

When you move into your new home don’t neglect to call your Project Management office promptly to schedule a move-in inspection. A member of the Housing Authority’s Management staff will go through your new home with you and mark a checklist with any defects existing in your dwelling at the time of your move-in. This move-in inspection is your protection at move-out time against being unfairly charged for damages not caused during your family’s occupancy. In addition to the move-in inspection the Authority will perform other routine inspections during your tenancy. From time to time members of the Authority’s Management and Maintenance staffs will call on you for the purpose of making periodic inspections or performing maintenance. Our Management office will schedule an appointment with you in advance of any inspection.

8. FAMILY COMPOSITION AND TRANSFER

You have been leased a home which accommodates the size and composition of your family. Only those family members who are registered on our records are permitted to reside there. You must report marriages, births, deaths, or any other changes in your family composition to the management office for your development. As the size of your family increases or decreases, it may be necessary for you to transfer to a dwelling of appropriate size when it becomes available. If you desire a transfer for some other reason, you may submit a written request to your Project Management office for consideration.

9. IF YOU DECIDE TO MOVE

When you decide to move out, please notify your Project Management office in writing at least thirty (30) days in advance of your departure so that your home may be rented promptly to another family in need of housing. A convenient Notice To Vacate Form is available in the Document Library section of this website (or the form can be obtained from the management office). If you do not give us 30 days advance notice in writing, we may have to charge you for 30 days rent, unless the unit is occupied in less time than that, in which case, we charge you for the number of days for which the unit was vacant. When you leave, please clean your home throughly; try to leave the unit as you wanted it to look when you moved into it. Here’s a quick move-out checklist for you:

Give the Authority notice that you intend to move; when you leave, close and lock all doors and windows; leave your refrigerator plugged in and set at the warmest setting; leave your house or apartment clean and free of trash; and contact the Management Office to arrange for the return of your keys and to schedule a move-out inspection at least two working days in advance of your departure;

If you have provided HACL with a valid forwarding address you will receive (within 30 days of vacating the dwelling) a statement of any charges due or a refund of your security deposit.

From the above, it is easy to see that vacating your unit is really serious business and should be given your strict attention. If you have any problems or questions when you are vacating, please call your Project Management Office for help and advice so that you can leave with a clear record.

10. REQUEST FOR REPAIRS

Our maintenance men are good people to know. They are the ones who make the necessary repairs when something leaks, breaks, or is otherwise damaged. Please request their services promptly by contacting your Project Management office to request a work order. An early repair often saves a lot of trouble and expense. The Authority will attempt to provide maintenance services at a time which is convenient for you. However, you should be aware that your request for maintenance services constitutes permission for Authority personnel to enter your dwelling even if you are not at home. Damage due to normal wear and tear is our responsibility. Damage done by you, your family, or your visitors is your responsibility and you will be charged for it.

11. MAINTENANCE EMERGENCIES

Maintenance emergencies include gas leaks, failure of water pumps during heavy rainfall, broken sewer pipes, loss of heat in winter, serious damage to roofs as a result of storms, any failure of electricity that occurs in more than one home, or any other situation that is dangerous to life, health or property. If any of these situations arises during office hours, call your Project Management office immediately to make repairs. If the office is closed, call 274-1403 for 24-hour emergency maintenance. Hearing impaired residents can contact the Authority by TDD 24 hours a day by calling 800-545-1833 ext 826.

12. LAWN CARE AND SNOW REMOVAL

Keeping up the appearance of your neighborhood is a job that you and the management share. Management is responsible for the care of all grounds and sidewalks used by the community as a whole. Your help is requested in seeing that your development never has that “after the picnic” look and that new grass is given a chance to grow. Even if you are not personally responsible for the orange peels, paper, or other kinds of litter that spoil the appearance of a neighborhood, pick them up anyway. After all, this community is your home, and it is to your advantage to see that it looks neat and well cared for at all times. Each tenant is responsible for mowing the grass in his or her own yard and clearing snow and ice from walks promptly in the wintertime.

13. LOCK OUT

If you are one of those people who never forgets his or her keys, don’t read any further. Those of you who do read further, however, will want to know just what can be done to help you get into your homes in case your forgot your key. If you are locked out of your home during normal business hours you should call your Management Office. When your management office is closed you should call the 24 hour emergency number. A maintenance staff member will be sent to unlock the door for you (you will need to show identification for the door to be unlocked). There will be a charge for this service (including an overtime surcharge for service after normal business hours). Of course you can avoid any charges if you “Don’t forget your key”.

14. UTILITIES

When you move in, you will be told which utilities (if any) you will be responsible for paying to the utility company and which will be included in your rent. It is the responsibility of every resident not to waste any utility. The following suggestions will help keep your utility consumption at a responsible level. Turn on only those lights which you need; Do not use higher wattage lamps than you need; Make certain the refrigerator door is closed; Do not use the kitchen range for heating purposes; Keep thermostats at the lowest comfortable setting; Report all dripping faucets, and leaks immediately; Report immediately commodes that do not shut off properly; Do not overload circuits with electric appliances; Keep doors and windows shut in winter.

15. TELEPHONES AND TELEVISION

Telephone installation is optional and all costs become the resident's responsibility. If cable television is available, connection may be made at the resident's cost. Satellite dish may be erected on Housing Authority property but only in accordance with the Authority’s installation guidelines. If you want to install a satellite dish you must obtain advance permission from your management office.

16. ABSENCE FROM HOME

If you plan to be absent from your home, even if it’s only for twenty-four hours, let us know that your dwelling will be empty. Plumbing has a way of acting up in vacant houses and gas or electricity may require attention. It is also important to know who is on the premises for rescue purposes in the event of a fire or other disaster. You may not allow friends or relatives to use your dwelling while you are gone, as your Lease forbids subletting. Also, for elderly tenants, please notify the office in your building so that we will know that you are not ill and we will be able to keep an eye on your apartment for you.

17. NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR PERSONAL PROPERTY

The Housing Authority and its employees are not responsible for the loss of, or damage to, any personal property of residents, or anyone else, for any cause whatsoever. Although the Housing Authority carries fire and extended coverage insurance and liability insurance in connection with the operation of its housing units, your furniture and any other personal property are not covered, nor is the Housing Authority liable for any injuries due to negligence of residents. Each family is advised to obtain an adequate amount of insurance covering their own personal property and liability. Renter's insurance is a smart and affordable coverage for you to carry.

18. BOARDERS AND LODGERS

When you moved into your new home, you were assigned a dwelling just large enough for your own family. If you were to allow additional people to move into your home, you would be taking away from the space that your family needs in order to be comfortable. In addition, too many people make it hard to keep a dwelling in good condition. You and your neighbors also deserve to know that persons regularly staying in your development have met the Authority's screening standards. Therefore, we must insist that you do not take into your home lodgers, boarders, or other persons who are not named on your Lease as members of your household. Failure to comply with this rule would be grounds for an eviction. If you do have someone coming to visit your from outside of the area for a brief stay, they are welcome if you have filled out in advance a simple request form available at your management office.

19. AUTOMOBILES AND PARKING

Observe the “No Parking” and “Restricted Parking” rules in your neighborhood. Also, no parking, please on lawns. Family housing dwellings are provided with one off-street parking space per unit. If your household has more than one vehicle, please park it on the street. Please remind your guests never to park in a spaces designated for residents. Although there are off-street parking lots at all of our apartment buildings, space limitations at some facilities unfortunately prevent us from guaranteeing a parking slot for every tenant. Those with a vehicle will be issued an Authority parking sticker entitling them to use one parking space on their building’s lot; there are no assigned spaces for specific tenants. If and when your building’s tenant parking reaches capacity, new tenants with vehicles will be placed on a waiting list to receive a parking sticker when the next tenant space becomes available. If you live at Stevens Towers, Washington Arms or Markethouse Place please advise your visitors that the parking lots are for tenant and staff use only. We know they will be able to find ample parking on surrounding streets.

20. ANIMALS

Residents of Palmyra Interfaith Manor, Mifflin Mills and all Public Housing developments may keep pets in accordance with the Housing Authority's Pet Policy. Permission must be obtained from the Authority prior to obtaining a pet. Residents of Markethouse Place, Palmview and Quittapahilla Commons are not permitted to keep pets.

21. NO BUSINESS OR ADVERTISING SIGNS

Because our developments are residential properties no one is permitted to operate a business in them unless you have obtained the proper clearance from local officials, as well as advance approval from the Housing Authority. In any event, we ask you not to make billboards of your homes - no advertising signs, please.

22. UNDERGROUND UTILITIES

Throughout our family developments, you will see large green metal boxes. These are electrical transformer enclosures. Alongside your home you also see gas and electrical risers protruding from the ground. Do not tamper with these in any way, and do not allow your children to play near them. You will notice there are no overhead wires in the area. All utilities – gas, electric, television cables, water and sewage are provided by underground facilities. For this reason, never dig holes or drive stakes, for any purpose.

23. BURGLARY, VANDALISM AND DISTRUBANCE OF THE PEACE

These are situations for the police to handle, so they are the ones to call. For Lease violations, also contact the management office. Our goal is to keep your development a place that you can be proud to call home. If you have a problem with a neighbor, please go to him or her and try to talk it out in a neighborly manner; if this approach fails, contact your Project Management Office for advice. Please remember – we can’t help solve problems we don’t know about!

24. SMOKE DETECTORS

Every Housing Authority dwelling has been equipped with at least one smoke detector. The smoke detector is possibly the single most important item that can save your life in the event of a fire. If your smoke detector is not operating correctly, please contact the management office and it will be repaired. Do not remove detectors of the batteries. A smoke detector that is not working may result in your death or the death of one of your family members! Tampering with a smoke detector is a serious violation of your lease which may result in eviction.

25. WHO TO CONTACT

During your tenancy you will probably find it necessary to contact the Housing Authority. Your central point of contact with the Authority is your Development Manager. Your manager can answer questions about all aspects of your tenancy. Contact numbers for our management offices are listed below.

Housing Area 1:

If you live in Stevens Towers or Washington Arms you should call: 274-1402, Ext 306 or 317

Housing Area 2:

If you live on Steckbeck Street, Meily Street, Brock Drive, Cherry Street or Weidman Street you should call: 389-0620

Housing Area 3:

If you live on Lafayette Street, Federal Street, South 11th Street, Center Street or at Cedar Court you should call: 274-8499

Housing Area 4:

If you live at Markethouse Place, Palmview, Quittapahilla Commons or Mifflin Mills you should call: 273-1630 Ext 109

After Hours Maintenance Emergencies 274-1403

Call for: After-hours maintenance emergencies when your management office is closed.

Telecommunications for the Deaf

The Authority maintains a TDD for those residents who are deaf. You can reach the Authority through its TDD service 24 hours a day, seven days a week by calling: 800-545-1833 ext 826.

Email

You can also contact the Authority by email. The Authority’s general email address is info@lebanoncountyhousing.com. Specific email addresses for all Authority staff members can be found in the Authority Information section of this website.