HUD awards Arkansas Housing Authorities over $16 million

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

HUD awards Arkansas Housing Authorities over $16 million to improve and preserve public housing stock

Buffalo Island Housing Authorities in Manila, Caraway, Lake City, Leachville and Monette are among the Arkansas Housing Authorities receiving $16,801,739 to make major large-scale improvements to pubic housing assets.

The grants are part of HUD's Capital Fund Program, which provides funding annually to all public housing authorities to build repair, renovate and/or modernize the public housing in their communities.

The Housing Authorities in Caraway will receive $47,529; Lake City, $41,864; Leachville $96,584; Manila, $93,391; and Monette $50,970.

Leachville

Leachville Executive Director Betty Jo Eldried said she is happy to receive the grant.

Leachville has 88 units on two sites; six on 11th Street and 82 on 5th Street.

"We have a five year plan in place and I will review it," Eldried said. "We just received word of the funding and we will begin looking at our plan and priorities. Hopefully we can finish the security screens."

She said they would also like to replace some of the older HVAC units with more efficient units helping residents with their utility bills.

"Roofing is a part of our normal budget from year to year but we will look at roofing needs, also."

Lake City

Ms. Eldried also is director at the Lake City Housing Authority which has 40 units. Again, she said they will look at the priority list and use the money wisely. There are pipes that need replacing.

"We will have to address the sewer issues," Eldried said. "We will also look at replacing back doors with solid wood doors if there is enough funding."

Caraway

Tammy Presley serves as executive director at the Caraway Housing Authority. Caraway has 50 units on two sites.

Ms. Presley said they will be looking at the needs and creating a priority list. They will look at replacing interior doors and windows and also look at additional metal roofing.

"We have some units with metal roofing that were put on as roofs had to be replaced," Presley said.

Manila

Janiece Flannigan, executive director of Manila Housing Authority, has 86 units on two sites. Pine View Apartments are located on south Boston Street and Cedar Creek apartments are located on north Boston.

Flannigan said they are pleased to get the capital improvement funding, but it is about $25,000 to $30,000 less than expected.

The housing authority will look over the five year plan and look to upgrade with more efficient water heaters, renovate apartments with new flooring, and replace some of the older air uonditioning Units.

"We want to continue to improve our apartments, make them more energy efficient and keep them looking as good as they do now," Flannigan said. "I had in the plans adding security screens but we will have to look at the priorities and see how far the funding will go."

Monette

Barbara Suber serves as the executive director of Monette Housing Authority. She has 48 units located at two locations, one on South Williams Street and another on Ganns/Harris/South Nance Streets.

Some of the major things on the list include updating the green fiscal needs assessment which is a requirement but should cost less than $3,000. Improvement plans also include replacement of the older bathroom lavatories and kitchen cabinets, along with new flooring.

"We try to do this type of work when the apartments become empty," Suber said.

Other ideas included site improvement work, updating with energy efficient lighting and sidewalk repairs.

"It is very important to keep up the sidewalks and keep everything in regulation or we will get written up," she said. "I also would like to add some extra security items such as peep holes for the doors and extra cameras."

All of the area executive directors were pleased to get the funding which is critical for housing authorities to maintain and improve public housing conditions for their residents.

Capital Fund grants are awarded each year to the nation's approximatley 3,100 public housing agencies through a formula that considers number, type and age of units in a community. Eligible uses for this funding include development, financing and modernization of the public housing units as well as management improvements at the public housing authority.

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