NASHVILLE - The Chattanooga Housing Authority could charge late fees of up to 10 percent to tenants behind on their rent under a bill that passed the House on a 69-24 vote today.
The bill's sponsor, Rep. Mike Carter, R-Ooltewah, said the bill was requested by CHA Chairman Eddie Holmes to resolve one of several deficiences the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development found in local authority operations.
Rep. JoAnne Favors, D-Chattanooga, objected to the 10 percent late fee. Favors said while she understood changes were needed, her constituents living in Chattanooga's public, low-income housing find it would be less objectionable to just increase the current $5 late fee to $15.
She said Holmes told her he would be "comfortable" with the $15 fee.
Carter replied CHA is losing federal grants "because its collections are so delinquent and it's late fee is so low. That's going to destroy their very mission. Remember, our friend Eddie Holmes is the one who brought me the bill."
The bill now goes to the Senate.