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Monthly rent payments on the rise in some Sunnyside Housing Authority units

The Sunnyside Housing Authority will increase the rents of some of its federal housing units next year.

That was the action approved last night by the housing authority's board of directors during a special meeting.

The Sunshine Plaza units, for example, will see their rents increase by $98 per month.

In other action related to Sunshine Plaza, the board agreed to replace five air conditioning units and replace windows in all units. A 47 percent increase in utility costs is also anticipated for Sunshine Plaza.

The authority's Roza Park development for eligible farmworker families will see rents increase by $100 per unit. Utility costs are expected to increase by 33.5 percent at Roza Park and the rental increase will help offset additional expenses and help with cash flow at the site. Also planned next year at Roza Park is replacement of air conditioning units, windows and roofing.

The Foothills, housing in Mabton for eligible farmworker families, will see rents increase by $194 per month in 2010.

According to Ketha Kimbrough, executive director for the housing authority, the sizeable increase is necessary to help the project recover a reasonable cash flow position. Utilities are expected to increase by nearly 27 percent next year. Also planned for 2010 are replacing air conditioning in 10 units and the replacement of windows in all the Mabton units.

The authority's Plaza del Sol development will see rents increase by $46 per month. Among the factors contributing to the increase are a 62 percent increase projected for utility costs.

Since the development doesn't have all of its units leased, Kimbrough noted that the authority relies on waivers from Rural Development to allow tenants who do not meet all eligibility requirements.

The rent increases go into effect March 2010.

Kimbrough noted that not all of the residents will pay the full rent increases, as rents are assessed based on the tenant's ability to pay.

In other action last night, the housing authority board agreed to spend $6,732 to expand parking at 1500 Federal Way.

The board also agreed to declare 10 appliances as surplus and authorized the write-off of $6,833 in bad debts. Those accounts now are turned over to collections.

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