RCHA mourns the loss of a member of our work-family

Please see article in the Intermountain:  https://www.theintermountain.com/life/2020/05/remembering-a-mentor/?fbclid=IwAR17eHTMGUdlx2qA_E7Z2YZvtisJ42ZdgS1C545Hmki6McFcHYCz7pkkEI4

Once in YouthBuild, Always in YouthBuild


On Sunday, April 12, 2020, Loren Dow Fortney suddenly passed from this life.  He was on his way to feed his horses, so we know he died doing what he loved.  Up until 2015, Loren was employed by the Randolph County Housing Authority (RCHA) as the Teacher/Education Coordinator/Principal and all-around youth-wrangler at our YouthBuild North Central program.


YouthBuild is a program RCHA has been offering since 1996—nearly 25 years—and Loren was a key player for nearly half that time.  We reckon he taught, supported, teased, and congratulated over 300 young people during his tenure.   Because of people like Loren, and the huge energy that young people create when they’re getting focused on their future, the program has a slogan that has stuck:  “Once in YouthBuild, Always in YouthBuild!”  Loren will forever be part of our YouthBuild family.


YouthBuild offers job training and TASC prep for people 16-24 who have dropped out of high school.  Participants become paid crew members for 6-8 months building affordable housing, training for health care careers and learning what they need to know to pass the high school equivalency test (TASC).  Crew members also participate in leadership development activities, serve as AmeriCorps members volunteering for local nonprofits, and get help finding and keeping jobs after graduation, or enrolling in other training or education.


Here are just a few of the sentiments we’ve heard from YouthBuild alumni that knew and loved Loren:


“I shed tears for you today, not out of weakness… but, pure sadness. Thank you, for being the caring adult that a young lady like me needed in that time. I avoided you at the grocery stores when I knew I didn’t have a story to tell you that would make you proud, because that’s all I wanted to do… and I know so many other young people had the same mission. I needed you, I needed Youthbuild, and you made it happen. Thank you, we thank you.”

“Best teacher and mentor I ever had. Never gave up on me, no matter how stubborn I was. He will be missed so much.”

“He was one of my favorite people (one of the few I let hug me regularly) he will be missed.”

“This man had such a profound impact on my life and made me strive to become more. I will forever remember his smile and his booming “Good Morning, Youthbuild” voice. He has touched countless lives and his mark will forever be left on this world.”


With the help of the Tucker Community Foundation, YouthBuild North Central is raising a fund to support the program and its alumni into the future.  With the gracious support of Anita Fortney, we have named the fund the Loren Fortney YouthBuild Fund, in honor of a great man and inspired teacher who taught hundreds of crew members from 2003-2015 and even came back to tutor 2017-2018.  The Loren Fortney YouthBuild Fund will provide scholarships to YB grads and provide program support to protect it from federal funding uncertainty.  If you would like to honor Loren with a contribution, no matter how large or small, please do!


Here’s how to give:


Use Paypal:



Donate through the Tucker Community Foundation site:  (all funds go to Loren Fortney YB Fund)



Or mail or drop off a check made out to TCF-YouthBuild Fund to:  RCHA, 2280 Randolph Avenue, Elkins, WV  26241.



Request for Proposals for PBV from RCHA                            April 2020


Randolph County Housing Authority (RCHA) requests proposals from landlords and developers for the Project-Based Voucher (PBV) Program. The PBV program is designed to conform to the Project-Based Voucher Program Final Rule published on October 13, 2005 at 24 CFR Part 983.

PBV applications are being accepted for up to thirty (30) Vouchers for existing and new construction projects in Randolph and Lewis counties, West Virginia that contain the following:

1.) The PBV designated units must serve households at or below 50% of the area median income;

2.) Must show evidence of site control;

3.) Developer must demonstrate that project construction will commence within twelve (12) months and occupancy will commence within twenty-four (24) months from date of preliminary award of PBV’s;

Proposals must be received by RCHA no later than 5:00pm Tuesday, May 5, 2020. Late applications will not be accepted.

There are up to thirty (30) Project-Based Vouchers available under this RFP for low-income families in  Randolph and Lewis Counties. RCHA seeks to meet the goal of de-concentrating poverty and expanding housing opportunities with the award of these Project-Based Vouchers.


Through the PBV program, RCHA will enter into a housing assistance payment (HAP) contract with the selected property owner for designated rental units for a term of up to fifteen years subject to funding availability. Housing assistance subsidies will be provided while eligible families occupy the rental housing units and the units meet other program standards. RCHA will maintain the waiting list and refer program participants to the project owner in order to fill vacant units. RCHA’s subsidy standards will determine the appropriate unit size for the family size and composition.

Under the PBV regulations, Project-Based Vouchers can be attached to RCHA-owned units, including units owned by RCHA subsidiaries; however, all proposals submitted for units where RCHA has an “identity interest” must be approved by HUD, or an independent entity selected by HUD.

Certain types of housing units and/or developments are not eligible for PBV assistance including:

  • Shared housing;
  • Units on the grounds of a penal, reformatory, medical, mental, or similar public or private institution;
  • Nursing homes or facilities providing continuous psychiatric, medical, nursing service, board and care, or intermediate care.
  • Units that are owned or controlled by an educational institution or its affiliate and designed for occupancy by the students of the institution;
  • Manufactured homes;
  • Transitional housing;
  • Owner-occupied housing units; and
  • Units occupied by an ineligible family at the time of proposal submission or prior to execution of the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) contract.

The number of PBV assisted units in the project cannot generally exceed the greater of 25 units or 25 percent (25%) of the total number of dwelling units in the project, except as provided by regulation 24 CFR 983.56.

Sites selected for PBV assistance must be:

  • Consistent with the goal of de-concentrating poverty and expanding housing and economic opportunities, consistent with RCHA’s PHA Plan and Administrative Plan. Specific factors are discussed at 24 CFR 983.57;
  • In full compliance with the applicable laws regarding nondiscrimination and accessibility requirements;
  • Meet Housing Quality Standards (HQS) site standards; and
  • Must meet HUD regulations for site and neighborhood standards.

Activities under the PBV program are subject to HUD environmental regulations and may be subject to review under the National Environmental Policy Act by local authorities.

For properties with nine or more proposed PBV units, the owner, the owner’s contractors and subcontractors must pay Davis-Bacon wage rates to laborers and mechanics.

RCHA will enter into a Housing Assistance Payments (HAP) contract with the owner selected and approved for PBV assistance. RCHA will make housing assistance payments to the owner in accordance with the HAP contract for those contract units leased and occupied by eligible families during the HAP contract term subject to funding availability.

The owner is responsible for screening applicants to occupy the owner’s unit based on their tenancy histories.

During the course of the tenant’s lease, the owner may not terminate the lease without good cause. “Good cause” does not include a business or economic reason or desire to use the unit for an individual, family or non-residential rental purpose. Upon expiration of the lease the owner may renew the lease; refuse to renew the lease for good cause; or refuse to renew the lease without good cause.

The amount of the rent to owner is determined in accordance with HUD regulations. The rent to owner including utility allowances must not exceed the lowest of:

  • An amount determined by RCHA, not to exceed 110 percent of the applicable fair market rent (FMR) for the unit bedroom size including any applicable tenant-paid utility allowance;
  • The reasonable rent; or
  • The rent requested by the owner.

Current Fair Market Rents for determining rents in Randolph and Lewis Counties in West Virginia, can be found here: https://www.huduser.gov/portal/datasets/fmr/fmrs/FY2020_code/select_Geography.odn

The total rent to the owner for PBV assisted units consists of the tenant rent (the portion of the

rent to owner paid by the family) and the rental assistance paid by RCHA in accordance with the

contract with the owner. RCHA determines the tenant rent in accordance with HUD requirements.


RCHA’s Executive Director will appoint a PBV Selection Panel to review, evaluate, rank and select the applications according to the criteria described herein. This panel will, at a minimum, consist of the Executive Director, Chief Financial Officer and Housing Choice Voucher Director. In the event that RCHA-owned units are recommended for project-basing, applications and the recommendation of the panel will be forwarded to the HUD Field Office for review.


RCHA will review all applications. Before selecting applications for scoring, RCHA will determine that each application is responsive to and in compliance with RCHA’s written selection criteria and procedures, and in conformity with HUD program regulations and requirements, including the following items:

  • Units designated for PBV must serve households at or below 50% of area median income.
  • Evidence of site control.
  • Developer must demonstrate that project construction or rehabilitation will commence within fifteen (15) months and occupancy will commence within thirty (30) months from date of preliminary award of PBV’s.
  • Each project must contain a minimum of 3 units.
  • Each proposal must include a request for at least 3 vouchers.
  • Certification that the owner and other project principals are not on the U.S. General Services Administration list of parties excluded from Federal procurement and non-procurement programs.
  • Proposed initial gross rents must not exceed 110% of the applicable Fair Market Rent including any applicable allowance for tenant-paid utilities for the size of the unit.
  • Property must meet eligibility requirements under §983.7 (Eligible and ineligible Properties and RCHA-owned units), §983.11 (Other Federal requirements), and §983.6 (Site and Neighborhood Standards).
  • No construction has begun, as evidenced by RCHA inspection
  • Generally not more than 25 units or 25 percent (25%) of the total number of dwelling units in the project are eligible for PBV assistance per 24 CFR 983.56.

If a project does not meet the requirements indicated above, it will be designated non-responsive.

A notice mailed to the applicant will identify the disqualifying factor. Proposals that meet the requirements will be evaluated and ranked by the RCHA panel. A RCHA ranking list will be prepared according to the points awarded to each proposal. RCHA may, at its discretion, select none, one or more of the proposals submitted.

RCHA reserves the right to reject any or all proposals, to waive any informality in the RFP process, or to terminate the RFP process at any time, if deemed by the RCHA to be in its best interests. RCHA reserves the right to reject and not consider any proposal that does not meet the requirements of this RFP, including but not necessarily limited to incomplete proposals and/or proposals offering alternate or non-requested services. RCHA reserves the right to award fewer than the number of units requested, if the requester agrees to accept a lower number of PBV units. RCHA shall have no obligation to compensate an applicant for costs incurred in responding to this RFP.


  1. Before executing an Agreement with any selected owner, RCHA will:
  2. Establish rents in accordance with §983.12. For any RCHA-owned unit, an independent entity will determine a recommendation for initial rents which then will be submitted to the HUD field office for final approval.
  3. Obtain subsidy-layering contract rent reviews from HUD, if applicable.
  4. Submit a certification to the HUD field office stating that the unit or units were selected in accordance with RCHA’s approved unit selection policy.


Preference will be given to proposals for existing projects and rehab projects which meet the following criteria:

  • Rental housing that is at risk of losing federal subsidy that make it affordable to low-income residents;
  • Rental housing that is preferenced for people experiencing homelessness or domestic violence.

Preference will be given to proposals for new construction which meet the following criteria:

  • Rental housing that is designed for senior and disabled populations;
  • Rental units with supportive services for special needs populations.

Scoring Criteria:

RCHA’s Evaluation Panel will review and rank each proposal based on the following criteria:

For Existing Units:

  1. Experience as an owner in the tenant-based voucher program and owner compliance with the owner’s obligations under the tenant-based program;
  2. Extent to which the project furthers the PHA goal of deconcentrating poverty and expanding housing and economic opportunities;
  3. If applicable, extent to which services for special populations are provided on site or in the immediate area for occupants of the property; and
  4. Extent to which units are occupied by families that are eligible to participate in the PBV program.


For New Construction or Substandial Rehab Projects:

  1. Owner Experience and capability to build and operate affordable rental housing;
  2. The extent to which project furthers the goal of deconcentrating poverty and expanding housing and economic opportunities;
  3. The financial viability of the proposal –including a proforma demonstrating the status of realistic and available sources and explanations of how operating expenses were determined;
  4. If applicable, the extent to which services for special populations are provided on site or in the immediate area for occupants of the property;
  5. Projects with less than 25 percent of the units assisted will be rated higher than projects with 25 percent or more of the units assisted. In the case of projects for occupancy by the elderly, persons with disabilities or families needing other services, the PHA will rate partially assisted projects on the percent of units assisted. Projects with the lowest percent of assisted units will receive higher scores.


Applications will be reviewed and ranked and will be subject to the selection criteria described above. The following procedures will be followed by RCHA in accepting and screening owner applications submitted for the PBV Program.


Owner applications will be accepted at the RCHA office located at:

2280 Randolph Avenue

Elkins, WV  26241

Attn: Karen Jacobson

Applications and supporting documentation will be accepted until 5:00 PM, Tuesday May 5th, 2020.


One original and one copy of owner applications must be submitted in the format designated by RCHA. Where possible, copies should be submitted as two-sided copies in order to conserve paper.


If RCHA determines that an application is non-responsive or non-compliant with this RFP, written selection criteria and procedures, or HUD program regulations, the application will be returned to the applicant with its deficiencies described. RCHA will give the applicant five (5) calendar days to correct all deficiencies. The application will be considered for the program if the missing information is submitted within this time period.

RCHA reserves the right to cancel this RFP for any reason or to reject applications at any time for misinformation, errors, or omissions of any kind, regardless of the stage in the process that has been achieved.


Applications submitted must have the following:

1) Cover letter signed and submitted by the principal party authorized to contract on the organization’s behalf. The cover letter should state the number of PBV units requested; the total number of units in the project or development along with number of buildings and the type of resident population.

2) A cover sheet that outlines the following:

  • Name of sponsor organization
  • Mailing address
  • Telephone numbers, fax numbers and e-mail addresses
  • Principal contact person
  • Executive Officer
  • DBE/MBE/WBE designation if applicable
  • Number of years in business

3) Copy of most recent single audit, audited 990’s or financial statements of the sponsor organization

4) Project application. Applications for PBV assistance must provide information on the following topics:

  • Owner name
  • Project name
  • Number of buildings
  • Number and size of units
  • Location of units
  • Other forms of assistance received
  • Requested contract term
  • Handicapped accessibility features
  • Owner experience with affordable rental housing
  • Unit and neighborhood amenities
  • Intended resident population
  • Tenant selection criteria and plan
  • Proposed Rents
  • Affordability restrictions
  • Need for PBV assistance
  • Management and operations plan
  • Service providers, if applicable
  • Evidence of site control
  • Financial Proforma
  • Development Schedule, if new construction or rehab

IRS non-filer information

Complete this free online form so that the IRS can identify you and your dependents, and receive valid direct deposit and address information about you. This information allows the IRS to calculate your eligibility and send you the Economic Impact Payment.

Do NOT continue here if:

  • You receive Social Security, Railroad Retirement, or SSDI benefits. The IRS will automatically send you an Economic Impact Payment.
  • You have already filed a 2019 federal income tax return.
  • Your 2019 gross income exceeded $12,200 ($24,400 for a married couple) or other reasons require you to file a 2019 federal tax return.
  • You were married at the end of 2019 and are not submitting information here with your spouse.
  • You were not a U.S. citizen or U.S. permanent resident in 2019.



COVID information from Our Future WV

The Our Future WV team understands that this is a difficult time for all West Virginians, but we hope you are finding some silver linings in all of the mess. We know how difficult it can be to find accurate information that affects your daily life. So we’d like to do our part to share information that we think you’ll want to know.

Below are some FAQs from WV DHHR about SNAP, WV Works benefits, childcare and more. Please share these with your friends and neighbors. For more updates, ways to help others and positive news during these dark times, tune into our Facebook.

If you’re currently in need of assistance for essential services, call, text or chat online with West Virginia 211.


FAQs for Hotlines Receiving Calls About DHHR Services During COVID-19 Outbreak

Am I still going to get my SNAP or WV Works (TANF) benefits on time? What if I’m up for renewal and can’t make my appointment due to the outbreak?

The delivery of SNAP and TANF benefits via Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards for existing customers and new applicants are expected to remain uninterrupted during this public health emergency.

Additionally, the federal government has granted states increased flexibility to handle applications and renewals without the need for a face-to-face interview. If you are concerned about your renewal, call your local DHHR office or the DHHR Office of Constituent Services at 1-877-716-1212.

What if I’m subject to work requirements to keep my SNAP or WV Works benefits?

The emergency legislation just passed by Congress has suspended work and training requirements for SNAP for the duration of the public health crisis. Once the official public health emergency declaration is ended, DHHR will notify you about the reinstatement of work requirements.

WV Works participants who have been impacted by COVID-19 may be granted some flexibility in complying with the terms of their Personal Responsibility Contract (PRC) during the duration of the crisis. If you have questions, please call your WV Works caseworker and explain your situation.

Am I still able to apply for SNAP and WV Works benefits or Medicaid/CHIP coverage right now? How do I apply?

Application for almost all DHHR benefit programs and healthcare coverage can be made online at https://www.wvpath.org/

The portions of the WV Works application that normally require in person contact can be completed by mail or telephone for the duration of the crisis. Customers will need to contact their local DHHR office to have a telephone appointment completed and application/review forms sent to them.

Applications, Reviews and verifications can be mailed, emailed or faxed to the local office. Each office has their own individual email address and fax number. As a last resort, you may drop your applications, reviews and verifications to the local office’s drop box.

I don’t have access to a computer, but I need help. Is my local DHHR office still open?

The West Virginia DHHR prioritizes the safety and well-being of our agency staff and customers above all else. DHHR must take all precautions necessary in order to slow the spread of COVID-19. In order to achieve this goal, we must greatly reduce face-to-face applications and reviews at local DHHR offices. We are asking our customers to limit their travel to the DHHR by taking advantage of other ways to submit applications, reviews and required verifications.

That said, local offices are expected to remain open with limited staff to ensure the smooth delivery of services. Steps are being taken to ensure that local offices are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected, but clients visiting any office are asked to also take steps to be safe, including following the handwashing and social distancing guidelines issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

My childcare provider has closed down during the outbreak. Where can I find childcare?

While DHHR is not directing any childcare providers to close at this time, we understand that some childcare providers have chosen to close down due to the outbreak. We encourage you to call your local Childcare Resource and Referral Agency (R&R) for help with finding childcare. Your local R&R can help you find and, if needed, get help paying for childcare.

At this time, the child care R&Rs are not currently serving clients face-to-face, but they are available by telephone or email. Contact info for your nearest R&R can be found here.

I am a first responder or healthcare worker and need emergency childcare to keep working. Is anything being done to address this need?

The Bureau for Children and Families is working to develop guidance for emergency childcare providers delivering services for fewer than 30 days during the outbreak. While we recognize that many people may need emergency access to childcare, we are asking these providers to focus their efforts on the families of first responders, healthcare workers, and other personnel critical to fighting the COVID-19 outbreak. More details on this guidance will be forthcoming.

Where can I get assistance with food for my children while the schools are shut down?

You can apply online for SNAP benefits at https://www.wvpath.org/
In addition, many county school systems throughout the state are making bagged lunches available for delivery or pickup. Please contact your county school system for details.

The WV Women, Infant, and Children (WIC) Program is available to help provide nutritious foods to pregnant and breastfeeding women, and families with young children up to their 5th birthday who meet income guidelines. You can find the telephone number for your local WIC clinic at https://dhhr.wv.gov/WIC/pages/Clinic-Results.aspx or by calling the DHHR Office of Constituent Services at 1-877-716-1212.

Local WIC clinics may be operating remotely and with limited staff. WIC benefits will continue to be issued and WIC grocery stores will continue to redeem WIC benefits.

DHHR is also working with the WV Department of Education to apply for the issuance of special assistance for low-income families with school-aged children that will be delivered through the EBT card system. More details will be forthcoming.

Where else can I get help with food for my family?

The emergency legislation newly passed by Congress has made additional funding available to food banks throughout the state. Please dial 211 to request the location of the food bank nearest you.


Source: WV DHHR & WV Center on Budget and Policy

RCHA Welcomes Housing Case Manager

The Randolph County Housing Authority (RCHA) proudly welcomes Mikayah Irwin to our team.  Mikayah was hired to be our Housing Case Manager and will work out of the office located at 2280 Randolph Road.

Mikayah, as the Case Manager, will provide Housing Stabilization and Self-Sufficiency services to RCHA clients in Randolph, Barbour, Tucker, Lewis and Upshur counties.  As a Case Manager she will assist people experiencing homelessness to locate and secure affordable housing and will provide case management services to them.  Additionally, in this position, Mikayah will also enroll and support Section 8 voucher holders participating in the Family Self-Sufficiency program.

She graduated from Elkins High School and then attended West Virginia University where she obtained a Bachelors of Arts in Criminology degree.  During college, she worked at Walmart as a sales associate, cashier, and customer services associate.  Mikayah also worked for the student union at the WVU Mountainlair at the Information Desk while attending college.  After college, her first job was with Pressley Ridge Laurel Park as a Teacher Counselor. Her immediate prior experience, was at the Elkins Mountain Schools, where she was a youth treatment assistant and case manager.

During this time of “stay at home” Mikayah will be learning and educating herself on our programs and once we can resume normal contact, she will be ready to jump into action.  Mikayah will be reaching out to our partners in our local area social and homeless services during this stay at home time, to introduce herself and become familiar with the services we offer in our local counties.

RCHA is committed to assisting our most vulnerable citizens, by giving them pathways to Self-Sufficiency.  This means having the right the support and local resource contacts available for our vulnerable to find and keep safe and stable housing.

The mission of Randolph County Housing Authority (RCHA) is to promote strong communities and a healthy quality of life in our region through collaborative housing and community development solutions.

If you would like more information about this topic please call Jennifer Griggs at 304-940-4596, or email [email protected] .


Youthbuild Hiring VISTA


YouthBuild NCWV is hiring an AmeriCorps VISTA.
This position is full time for one year as Recruitment Project Leader. For more information on the VISTA program go to www.my.americorps.gov

This VISTA will receive a living allowance of $12,490.00, paid bi-weekly. The Education Award is $6,195.00. For a summary of benefits go to https://www.vistacampus.gov/in-service/benefits-service

The preferred candidate will have strong communication skills, teaching/tutoring experience, community organization skills, and knowledge of area trades. Must have valid driver’s license and be able to pass a background check.
If you thrive in an exciting, fast paced environment; are a team player and want to make a difference in the lives of young people in your community this position is for you!
Please send a resume to [email protected]
For more information on the YouthBuild program go to www.youthbuildncwv.org

AND www.youthbuild.org