Boyne Housing Commission report shows agency on the rise

Despite years of uncertainty and difficulty, the Boyne City Housing Commission has emerged strong and solvent.

The Boyne City Housing Commission’s annual report for 2015-2016 was expected to be presented to city officials at the Tuesday Aug. 8 Boyne City Commission meeting. Presented are some of the highlights.


“My job at BCHC is made easier by having a dedicated and caring staff,” said Jane MacKenzie, Boyne City Housing Commission Executive Director. “We have had many challenges over the past four years but each time the staff has stepped up and worked together toward solutions to each challenge.”

She added, “In addition, the Housing Commission board members provide valuable insight, guidance and solutions for governance of the Boyne City Housing Commission.”

BCHC History
The Boyne City Housing Commission was established by the City of Boyne City Jan. 30, 1967. BCHC is a Public Housing Authority, PHA, and is a governmental unit. BCHC operates under a Board of Commissioners with 5 members who are appointed by the City Manager.
Its fiscal year is Oct. 1 to Sept. 30.
In 1970, the first 24 apartments of Litzenburger Place were built along with 16 houses on Wenonah and Harris Streets. In 1980 the two story addition was completed at Litzenburger Place that includes 30 one-bedroom apartments and 10 houses were built on Jersey, Jefferson, Ann, First and Main Streets.

BCHC Programs
The Boyne City Housing Commission operates two programs: Public Housing and Housing Choice Voucher. These programs are operated with funding from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, HUD. HUD establishes the requirements for these programs.

Public Housing
BCHC owns 79 units of Public Housing including 53 one-bedroom apartments in Litzenburger Place at 829 South Park St., and 26 two- and three-bedroom single-family houses scattered throughout Boyne City.
One apartment at Litzenburger Place has been converted into office space.

Housing Choice Voucher, HCV
BCHC has 60 Vouchers that it manages. When a household receives a voucher, they can use it to rent a privately owned rental unit in Charlevoix County.
The household pays 30 percent of its adjusted income for rent and utilities, and BCHC pays the remainder to the landlord, up to Reasonable Rent Standards.

Financial Highlights
• The auditor determined that the financial statements “presented fairly in all material respects, the financial position of the business-type activities of the Boyne City Housing Commission,” which is the highest opinion the auditor can give.
• The term “net position” refers to the difference between assets and liabilities. The Housing Commission’s total net position at Sept. 30, 2016 was $1,190,529. The net position increased $74,833 from the prior year.
• Operating revenues for BCHC were $754,105 during the year. This was an increase of $24,920 from the previous year.
• Expenses for the Housing Commission were $751,676 for the year, an increase of $48,632 from the previous year.
• The audit noted one finding—BCHC’s funds on deposit at the bank on Sept. 30, 2016 exceeded the federal insured amount. MacKenzie said this has been corrected.

2015-2016 Accomplishments
• Replaced the roof on the 2-story portion of Litzenburger Place.
• The waterline to the building developed a hole. It was dug up and replaced.
• A Physical Needs Assessment was completed that estimated the remaining life expectancy of components of the building and an estimated cost to replace them.
• An Energy Audit was completed that estimated cost savings from replacing components, like boilers, with higher efficiency replacements.
• Staff held picnics for all residents and asked for their ideas for improvements to the apartments and houses. BCHC is working through the practical ideas on the lists.
• HUD has a rating system for Public Housing called PHAS. BCHC’s 9/30/2016 PHAS score was 98 out of 100. It is considered a “High Performer.”
• HUD has a rating system for the Housing Choice Voucher program called SEMAP. BCHC’s 9/30/2016 score was 85 out of 100, making it a “Standard Performer.”
• HUD has a rating system for maintenance of the properties called REAC. BCHC’s 9/30/2015 score was 99 out of 100.

Community Support
 The Boyne District Library visits once a month and brings books, books on CD and DVDs.
 Eta Nu does a special breakfast in the spring and dinner in the fall for Litzenburger residents.
 Commodities are distributed once a month at and TFAP is distributed quarterly.
 Flu Shots are available once a year at Litzenburger Place.
 Project Fresh sign-ups are also held once a year at Litzenburger Place.
 Compassionate Hearts donated some larger AC units in 2013 for the second floor hallway at Litzenburger Place.
 Local organizations and individuals donated funds to purchase candy for the annual Community Halloween party.

2013 to 2015 Accomplishments
 In 2012 the Boyne City Housing Commission was designated a “Troubled” PHA. In February 2014 BCHC completed requirements of recovery agreement and action plan and was no longer a Troubled PHA.
 Updated policies including Financial, Internal Control, Procurement, Personnel, Admissions and Continued Occupancy Policy for Public Housing (ACOP) and Administrative Plan for Housing Choice Vouchers
 Established procedures for rent collection, late fees, repayment plans, reasonable accommodation requests and evictions.
 Officially separated from the City on 1/1/2014. Prior to that date BCHC’s payroll had been processed with the City’s and we used the City’s Employer Identification Number.
 Additional Physical Improvements: Purchased front load washers for accessibility; renovated 2nd floor hallway, laundry and library; sealed and striped parking lot; purchased new computers and server for the office; switched to digital cable;
redecorated first floor laundry room; replaced trash room floor and repainted; remodeled the craft room into an exercise room; Consumers Energy installed LED lights April 2015 in all resident apartments; removed dead and dying trees between our houses on Jefferson and Jersey Streets.
 Our vacancy rate has reduced from 3.3% in 2013 to 1.2% in 2016. Out of 79 apartments/houses only 16 moved in 2016. Average turnover rate for market rate apartments is 50%, for subsidized apartments it is 39%. BCHC’s turnover rate for 2016 was 20%.