By Joe Pinchot
Herald Staff Writer
MERCER COUNTY —
Mercer County Housing Authorities are hoping their aspirations for high-performer status did not go up in smoke in a Dumpster fire.
Authority properties are inspected by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development about every three years, but the inspections are staggered so not all authority properties are inspected the same year.
The scores factor into the authority’s annual report card grade, which also includes elements such as rental occupancy and rent collection.
“AMP1 lost 71/2 points because the night before the inspector came we had a fire in a Dumpster,” said authority Executive Director Nannette Livadas said of the asset management project otherwise known as Vermiere Manor, Sharon.
“We didn’t want to clean it up until after the insurance adjuster had been there,” she said. “We are appealing it.”
The outcome of the appeal is crucial because, as it stands now, officials expected to get a grade of 89.6 percent on the authority report card. A score of 90 is required to be considered a high-performing authority, which would give better access to certain grants and other federal funding.
A successful appeal of the Vermiere inspection score would push the overall score above 90 percent, Livadas said.
The authority’s score was 87 percent in 2012.
The appeal overshadows the fact that the inspection scores for Vermiere and three other properties were much better than their previous scores.
Vermiere’s score was 88 percent, up from 83 in 2011. Sharpsville Gardens was awarded 95 percent, up from 88 in 2011; Frank Fay Terrace, Pymatuning Township, was given a 98, up from 82 in 2011; and Patterson-Landay, Farrell, settled in at 95, up from 89 in 2010.