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How Binghamton's Housing Authority Plans To Meet COVID-Related Needs

BINGHAMTON, NY (WSKG) — Funding in the federal coronavirus relief package was earmarked for housing authorities meant to prepare, prevent or respond to the coronavirus.

The grants come through Housing and Urban Development, and can be used for a variety of purposes; from PPE and cleaning supplies, to internet connection and tablets for kids to do school work.

It can also be used if a resident becomes infected and needs to be isolated.

"We’ve been fortunate in that none of our residents, to our knowledge, have been diagnosed with COVID, but that can change," said Elaine Miller, executive director of the Binghamton Housing Authority.

Binghamton housing authority has three campuses totaling 641 apartments for people with low-income. Miller described residents living in their downtown facility as elderly and disabled.

"We’re very concerned about this particular population," she said. "So we’re talking to the Health Department about what we might—and community health and home care, about how we might isolate residents who are diagnosed."

If a resident were to test positive, they would need to shelter in their apartment, so the housing authority is also are considering how to meet people’s food and laundry needs. Miller said they have access to a laundry service.

This year, the Binghamton Housing Authority acquired tele-health capabilities which Miller hopes will address some of the residents' health needs, as well as access to physical therapy.