HUD Ranks Lakewood Township’s Rental Assistance Program (LTRAP) Among Top in the Nation; Awards LTRAP Perfect 100% Score

ltrapThe Lakewood Township Residential Assistance Program, (LTRAP), once again attained a perfect 100% score on the Section Eight Management Assessment Program, (SEMAP). SEMAP is the tool HUD uses to measure, rate, and rank the performance of housing providers administering the tenant-based Section 8 housing choice voucher program. SEMAP measures thirteen critical indicators such as selection from the Waiting List, Reasonable Rents, HQS Enforcement, Timely Rent Reexaminations, Lease-ups, Correct Calculation of Tenant Payments, and Expanding Housing Opportunities. Today (April 30, 2014), LTRAP received notice from HUD that it again scored 100% for 2013, a perfect score of 135 out 135 possible points. Since the inception of this annual SEMAP rating system 14 years ago, LTRAP has consistently been ranked by HUD in the “high” performance category, almost always scoring a perfect 100% score.   

Founded and led by Rabbi Meir Hertz since its inception in 1977, LTRAP is administered by the Lakewood Tenants Organization (LTO), a New Jersey not-for-profit organization.  This month  LTRAP marked 37 years of serving the affordable housing needs of Lakewood’s residents.

LTRAP is sponsored locally by the Township of Lakewood. However, one hundred (100%) percent of its $16 Million annual budget is derived from HUD. There are a total of 109 Section 8 programs in New Jersey: 80 are administered by governmental housing authorities, and 29 by housing agencies.  LTRAP is by far the largest private (non-governmental) agency providing affordable housing in the state. As this SEMAP score shows, it is also one of the very best in the nation—public or private.

  • LTRAP currently administers 1,058 Section 8 Rental Assistance Program vouchers, providing over $1.2 Million in Section 8 rent subsidies monthly. All LTRAP subsidized-units are leased to income-eligible senior or disabled households and families. All are occupying safe, decent and sanitary dwelling units in the private rental market, owned by more than 800 participating landlords.
  • LTRAP currently has approximately 1,000 names on its Waiting List, 750 of which are Lakewood residents.  Lakewood residents receive a preference over non-residents.  LTRAP stopped taking applications in December, 2004, and will reopen applications’ intake when the current list is nearly depleted and the prospect for assisting additional applicants improves. Unfortunately, due to severe federal budgetary cutbacks there has been no new funding awarded to the Section 8 program in the past 20 years.
  • LTRAP’s fiscal operations are audited annually by an Independent Public Accountant (IPA Audit), selected in a Request For Proposals (RFP) bid process. The fiscal audits for at least the past 30 years were consistently clean. The only finding ever made in all this time was in 2007 when LTRAP assisted more families than HUD authorized, despite the fact that financially, LTRAP was able to do so, and did not exceed its budgetary authority. Copies of all the LTRAP annual Audit Reports are forwarded to the Lakewood Treasurer for inclusion in Lakewood’s Single Audit Report, as required.

Now in its fourth decade of meeting the affordable housing needs of Lakewood’s neediest residents, LTRAP hopes to build on its accomplishments, and to reach and assist as many families as possible.  But the key remains in Washington, with the President, and with Congressional appropriations. [TLS]

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  1. Is there any practical benefit to the PHA if it receives a high score or average / low score? Do they receive more funds?? Or is it just a feel-good measure?

  2. It’s our money they are spending to give to people who sit and don’t work so who gets rewards here? The people who work and work to pay their own bills not any of these people

  3. Some people can’t work. Some people work and don’t make enough. Some people can’t find a job in this incredibly competitive market. If you would like, feel free to stop giving away “your money” and stop enjoying the benefits of police protection, infrastructure, roads, garbage pickup, the court system, education and therapy benefits for children etc. All of that is also paid for with government money from your contributions to taxes. You live in a democratic, civilized, modern country and paying taxes is part of that. You can choose not to live here and go somewhere else although I don’t think you will like it better.

  4. You are obviously one of the few percent of those on HUD who are really looking for a job. Call PCS but you don’t represent most of the people who I meet every day in my job and also spend ur time brushing up your computer skills as it is critical

  5. 1058 people receiving $1.2million per month equals $1,342 per month per recipient. That’s pretty high for an “assistance” program. Seems like the poor are paying pretty high rents. Just saying.

  6. Lower rents are on smaller housing. If a family on Section 8 assistance has 5 children, should they be forced to live in a one bedroom apartment to keep their assistance numbers down? Have you researched how expensive it is to rent in this town these days? It is not unreasonable that given the cost of rent that most of that cost is covered for those families that need it most. Why are so many begrudging their neighbor here? The federal government has already decided to allocate the money for rental assistance for those less fortunate. Why should those less fortunate in Lakewood decide not to take the help?

  7. the statistic i would like to know is the average period of time recipient is on the program.

    i suspect many on the waiting list are just in need as those who have been getting benefits a long time.

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