Tennessee House passes Chattanooga Housing Authority late fee bill

Tennessee House passes Chattanooga Housing Authority late fee bill

April 5th, 2013 by Andy Sher in Local Regional News

NASHVILLE - The Chattanooga Housing Authority could charge late fees of up to 10 percent to tenants who are behind on their rent under a bill that passed the House Thursday on a 69-24 vote.

The sponsor, Rep. Mike Carter, R-Ooltewah, said the bill was requested by CHA Chairman Eddie Holmes to resolve one of several deficiencies 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 that she understood changes were needed, but her constituents living in public would prefer the current $5 late fee be increased to $15.

She said Holmes told her he would be "comfortable" with the $15 fee.

Carter replied that the housing authority is losing federal grants "because its collections are so delinquent and its 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.

Contact staff writer Andy Sher at 615-255-0550 or asher@timesfreepress.com.