MILFORD – On Monday, North Central Indiana Housing revealed the 2019 winners of the Good Housekeeping Award prize drawing.
Warsaw’s winner was Shirley Lyons, whose apartment is overseen by Village Management Company, and Goshen’s was Patricia Snyder of Lacasa Inc.
The prizes – $100 Walmart gift cards – were presented by Warsaw Mayor Joe Thallemer.
NCIH administers the city of Warsaw and city of Goshen Section Eight Housing Choice Voucher programs, which provide rental assistance to individuals and families in those cities. Those on Section Eight receive a voucher and are free to rent anywhere within the program’s radius, providing the rent falls within fair market rent range.
Lyons, a long-time Warsaw resident, has been a perennial recipient of the award during her time on Section Eight. In addition to keeping an immaculate house, she is an avid reader and dog lover who loves that NCIH helps her live in Warsaw, according to a news release from NCIH.
“Where I’m at, I can walk to the library and get anything I need,” said Lyons. “(Village Management Company) always makes sure the sidewalks are clear in the winter, so I never even have to worry about falling.”
Lyons said that the prize came just in time for Christmas, giving her some holiday financial flexibility that she does not always have.
“This (prize) just shows that 2020 is going to be a good year,” Lyons said. “It feels like ‘Miracle on 34th Street.’”
Snyder, another housekeeper and long-time Lacasa tenant, was nearly brought to tears when she received her prize.
“I always frame my Good Housekeeping Award certificates; I’m very proud of them,” she said, “I love where I live. And I’m just speechless about meeting the mayor and the prize.”
“Having advocates on the front lines of housing is important,” said Thallemer on the impact of the Housing Authority. “For both the state of housing and the community, you guys play a huge role. I’m glad I was able to be here and meet these people who take such great care of their homes.”
The Good Housekeeping Award Program began in the late 1990s with dual purposes in mind. For one, it provides incentive for landlords to rent to voucher holders – they know that renters on Section Eight will be motivated to keep their units in good shape, so they have less need to worry about reckless tenant behavior. For renters, the prospect of reward gives them extra incentive to keep their housing in excellent condition.
The program has been incredibly successful over the years, the release states. In 2019, 66% of voucher holders in Warsaw and 71% in Goshen received the award.
To receive the award, tenants cannot damage their unit and must keep it sanitary. During each unit’s yearly inspection, NCIH inspector Tom Bulger checks for damage and cleanliness and tells the tenant if they have qualified. They receive their certificate and are then placed into a drawing for the grand prize, which is selected at the end of the year.
To learn more about getting Section Eight rental assistance, or if you are interested in how landlords can participate in Section Eight, contact North Central Indiana Housing at 574-269-7641 or by visiting its office at 109 W. Catherine St., Milford.