An Introduction to Section 8 Housing

As a division of the Woda Group, Woda Management and Real Estate has built more than 9,000 affordable housing units since its establishment in 1990. Woda Management and Real Estate addresses the needs of residents and potential residents with an in-depth knowledge of housing programs.

Section 8 is the commonly used term for the US Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD’s) housing choice voucher program. It stands out as the largest federal program that helps elderly citizens and individuals with low incomes and disabilities to afford clean and dignified housing on the open market. By providing vouchers to qualified recipients, the program gives those individuals and families a broader range of housing options.

Though federal funds support the program, its administration rests in the hands of local public housing agencies. These organizations issue vouchers to qualified families, who must then find a unit and a landlord accepting of the voucher. The voucher pays a predetermined subsidized amount to the landlord, while the recipient pays the difference between that amount and the unit’s current market rent.

Tenants’ Rights under the Implied Warranty of Habitability

Woda Management and Real Estate, a division of the Woda Group, manages more than 200 properties across 13 states. Dedicated to continually meeting the needs of its tenants, Woda Management maintains an occupancy rate of approximately 95 percent.

Though tenant rights vary by state, a universal guideline is the renter’s rights to a livable space. The legal term for this right is the “implied warranty of habitability,” which means that the tenant must have a livable space regardless of specific terms of the lease. In keeping with the implied warranty of habitability, a landlord or property manager in required keep the building itself safe and its essential structures intact. In addition, all of the building’s common areas must be clean, with trash receptacles available.

The implied warranty of habitability also gives tenants the right to utility systems in good condition. All ventilation must work properly, and any elevators must be safe for use. Heat as well as hot and cold running water must be available and, if broken, are required to undergo repairs in a timely fashion. Furthermore, the tenant has the right to live in a space that remains free of lead, asbestos, mold, and vermin infestations.

Woda Group’s Hayden Senior Apartments Project in Springfield, Ohio

Part of The Woda Group, Inc., the executive team at Woda Management and Real Estate, LLC, is dedicated to providing low-income residents with quality, affordable housing. Woda Management consists of development and construction divisions, and spans 190 properties in several states. In late 2014, the company announced completion of the Hayden Senior Apartments project in Springfield, Ohio.

Comprising 44 units and two stories, the senior-living Hayden Senior Apartments complex has provided a boost to community revitalization efforts outlined in the Clark County Crossroads Plan and Springfield Unified Plan for Redevelopment. The project also fulfills City Commission objectives for repurposing past public school sites as residential redevelopments. The building meets a number of key sustainability criteria and has been certified by Enterprise Green Communities. In addition, the U.S. Green Building Council is currently evaluating it for LEED Gold certification. Amenities include exercise and computer rooms, and a community space that encourages socialization between residents, neighbors, and family members. The project was completed by Woda in conjunction with PCI Design Group.

The Case for Drought Tolerant Landscaping

Woda Group, Inc., is committed to designing, constructing and managing affordable homes for seniors and families. Woda Management and Real Estate LLC serves the parent organization by providing management, maintenance, and leasing services for its properties. The properties under Woda Management incorporate energy efficient and sustainable elements such as energy-efficient fixtures and appliances and drought tolerant landscaping.

Drought tolerant landscaping was originally adopted in areas of the country that received limited rainfall. However, as other regions stood to benefit from this approach to landscaping, it was subsequently adopted across the country.

Drought tolerant landscaping, which favors the use of plants that require little water, offers a number of advantages. First of all, it helps to conserve water, a scarce resource. In addition, it cuts back on the cost and effort of maintenance: The landscaper can devote less time to weeding and pruning and spend less money on water than he or she otherwise would. Indigenous animal species can also find a habitat in an area planted with native, drought tolerant species. Moreover, drought tolerant landscaping tends to eliminate pesticide and fertilizer use.

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Certification

Woda Management, a branch of The Woda Group, Inc., specializes in the development, construction, and management of properties nationwide. Its portfolio includes housing units for low-income families, students, and senior citizens. In March of 2014, Woda Management announced that its property, Hayden Senior Housing in Springfield, Ohio, is anticipated to receive approval for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Certification.

Created by the United States Green Building Council, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Certification, also known as LEED Certification, is bestowed upon properties that show increased efficiency in water, energy, and resources. The certification comes in four levels of achievement: certified, silver, gold, and platinum. Each level acknowledges the degree of which the property exhibits environment-friendly and sustainable features.

Upon approval, the company overseeing the development receives a certificate of recognition. The company can also choose to purchase a LEED plaque. Both publicly signify a company’s effort to incorporate sustainability into its project.

To learn more about LEED certification, visit www.usgbc.org.

Studies Examine Benefits of Low-Income Housing

Since 1990, Woda Management has been responsible for the creation of more than 7,000 properties throughout the Midwest and other areas of the United States. At the forefront of the Woda Management strategy is providing its clients with a variety of environmentally friendly low-income housing options.

In many locations nationwide, there is an ongoing debate on the effect that low-income housing has on crime in the area. However, according to a new study conducted by Princeton University, not only does low-income housing provide a viable living alternative for poorer families, but it also decreases crime in the area.

In fact, studies have shown that many residents of neighborhoods where low-income housing is built don’t notice a change in environment, and often are completely unaware of its installation. Research has also shown that low-income housing helps create jobs in these areas, both through construction and consumer spending once the homes are inhabited. This combination of creating jobs and providing a viable living situation for those under the poverty line are the subject of many housing models and studies concerning the positive effects of low-income housing.

LEED Certification of Buildings Comes With Many Benefits

As a developer and manager of affordable housing, Woda Management pursues LEED certification for many of its projects. To date, Woda Management has secured a number of platinum, gold, and silver certifications and aims consistently to build at a silver or higher level.

Developed by the United States Green Building Council, the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program helps developers and managers conserve energy and resources while helping energy systems perform at optimal levels. Data collected across the program’s lifetime indicates that LEED-certified buildings reduce water and energy costs by as much as 40 percent. In addition, LEED-certified buildings qualify for a number of federal and state benefits, depending on the type of property and its location.

The LEED program measures properties in such categories as water efficiency, atmosphere and energy use, materials and resources, and indoor air quality. The program rates each property in these and other categories, and then combines the scores to determine the property’s certification level. Levels range from the most basic certified level through silver and gold and up to the highest rating of platinum.