CLARKSBURG, W.Va. — The Executive Director of the Clarksburg-Harrison Regional Housing Authority provided the county commission Thursday with a look into the workings of the agency in the past year.
“It’s an annual report that contains our statistics on how well we have done administering [Housing and Urban Development] programs over the last year,” Lou Aragona said. “We have a number of programs: public housing, voucher programs, homeless programs, home ownership programs.”
Aragona’s overview of the authority’s work was positive.
“We have maximized all the numbers that we needed to maximize, we’ve assisted as many families as the money allows us to do,” he said. “We try to continue to do that and strive to be better every year.”
In order to improve last year, the authority implemented several new programs.
One of which, in collaboration with the West Virginia State Homeless Coalition, aims to assist “chronically homeless” individuals. Through grant money, the agency is able to provide housing and then assistance in receiving services such as healthcare.
Aragona explained how the program not only helps those individuals in need, but every surrounding them.
“It makes a big difference in the community because if someone’s housed every night, it’s been proven that they don’t make as many trips to the emergency room,” he said. “You knock four visits a month off, how much taxpayers dollars are you saving? Quite a bit.”
The quality of the buildings the authority manages was brought up as well in regard to HUD’s recent evaluations.
“Our agency has a High Performer Rating,” Aragona said. “The buildings are very clean, they’re well kept. All the machinery works. It’s a situation where they don’t have to struggle with things breaking and grass cutting and people just not taking care of what they need.”
Looking to the future, the agency plans to take an aggressive approach and work hard for the people who will come to require their services.
“We want to be able to get the grants that are available to us and what ultimately that umbrella is is to help families get affordable housing, whether it be home ownership, whether it be rental, whether it be helping homeless people, veterans.”
More information about the services the Clarksburg-Harrison Regional Housing Authority offers can be found at chrha.net.