Housing authority changes coming

    The Fort Wayne Housing Authority's board of directors has voted to take over operations of its counterpart in Decatur, although final approval of that move will hinge on a vote of Decatur Housing Authority board members scheduled for later this month.
    According to a story in Wednesday's edition of the (Fort Wayne) Journal-Gazette, Fort Wayne Housing Authority board members voted 4-0 Tuesday to accept a management agreement with the Decatur Housing Authority, taking over its Housing Choice Voucher program in a deal expected to begin Jan. 1.
    Maynard Scales, director of the Fort Wayne Housing Authority, told the Democrat during a telephone interview Wednesday that federal cutbacks led officials in both Allen and Adams counties to consider the benefits of working together to attempt to solve housing needs for the area's needy families.
    He said a reduction in federal funds available for the Housing Choice Voucher program forced the Decatur housing agency to cut the hours of one of its two employees, and then to eventually lay that person off. Director Nanelle Young is the lone remaining DHA employee.
    "The federal cuts made it difficult for the Decatur Housing Authority to stay in business and run a quality operation," said Scales. "Our board recommended an inter-local agreement that would keep housing vouchers here in Adams County. In fact, we are here (in Decatur) today helping with the waiting list."
    Officials with the Housing Authority of the City of Decatur just last week had announced the re-opening of the voucher program (formerly called Section 8) waiting list. The housing authority will accept pre-applications through 3 p.m. Friday at 214 E. Monroe St., Gerber Building, in Decatur.
    For the full story, see today's print or online editions.