By Ashley Rader
A recent television news report put residents’ incomes in the spotlight Tuesday at the Elizabethton Housing and Development Agency Board of Commissioners meeting.
Commissioner Stan Bailey said he had been fielding questions about the issue after a Nov. 14 report on WJHL saying area public housing communities had residents with incomes of $50,000 a year or more, including one report that listed the EHDA as having a resident with a projected yearly salary of $76,000.
Bailey asked Director Kelly Geagley to clarify the application process and the way rent is processed based on income.
Geagley said that before any resident is accepted to the EHDA, their income must be below the poverty level. The resident can choose a flat-rent rate or a rent rate based on income.
Geagley said some tenants do make more than the poverty level, but they were not at that income level when they were approved for the EHDA communities.
The commissioners also had specific questions about the tenant referenced in the television report.
“There is no one here that makes $76,000 a year,” Geagley said. “No one comes into the agency with income of $76,000 that we place in the apartments. What happened, (the reporter) found one day of the rent roll that said the family made $76,000 because the child had a temp job that paid higher. At the end of the year, their income will not be $76,000. That family comes in below the poverty level.”