Housing Authority terminates city management contract

The Great Falls Housing Authority board has opted not to renew their management agreement with the city.

The housing board voted in August to discontinue the agreement and the transition of management will be effective Dec. 1.

The housing authority paid a $40,020 management fee to the city for services including legal, administrative and human resources.

The agency also paid $44,309 in internal service charges, according to the city budget.

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The housing board has decided to handle those services internally, according to a city release.

The housing authority also has an agreement with the Great Falls Police Department for the housing officer that will remain in place, according to City Manager Greg Doyon.

The housing board has spent the last year reviewing their operating model and cost for management services, according to a release. During that review, the board determined that no other housing authority in the state operates under a similar model.

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“After analyzing the management costs, the board felt that savings and efficiencies could be attained by terminating the contract with the city and utilizing existing staff to provide services internally,” according to the city release.

The Great Falls Housing Authority owns and operates five public housing complexes, manages the federal Section 8 housing program and has 32 units of affordable housing in the city, according to the agency.

The public housing and Section 8 programs provide rental assistance to income-eligible individuals.

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The GFHA is funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and governed by a seven-member board appointed by the City Commission. The appointment process will not change with the terminated contract, according to the city.

The community members of the board serve five-year terms and the resident members serve two-year terms. All members serve without compensation.

The city supports the housing board’s decision and will work with the agency over the next few months for the transition, Doyon said.