Friday, October 31, 2014

The board of commissioners postponed action on a proposal for the board to appoint itself the governing body of the Clatsop County Housing Authority (CCHA) in place of the agency's current governing board. The commissioners will take up the issue at their Dec. 12 meeting.

Chair Peter Huhtala explained that the issue arose over concerns about past actions involving the housing authority, including the resignation of a property management company contracted by CCHA over the eviction of a tenant from a CCHA rental property in 2009, as well as questions whether the selection of a contractor by the CCHA board to perform work at a property in September complied with the agency's procurement policies.

The management company, Income Property Management, informed the authority in August 2009 that it was ending its contract to manage various CCHA properties over the agency's refusal to allow the company to evict a tenant.

CCHA board member David Smith read a prepared statement asking the board of commissioners to delay action until the housing authority board could respond to the issues. He said the housing authority had concerns about Income Property Management's performance before it terminated its contract in 2009. He also stated that the work contract – involving a job awarded to a distant relative of CCHA Executive Director Kathy Lucas – was handled in compliance with state law, and that Lucas recused herself from the contractor selection process.

The housing authority owns several affordable housing facilities in Astoria, Warrenton and Seaside and administers housing assistance to low-income residents.

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