Peoria Housing Authority Observer Report
Meeting held at PHA Offices. Tim Shelly, local NPR reporter was present. Board members present: Secretary, Helen King, who led the meeting, and Commissioner Kim Furness. Director Jackie Newman and Melissa Huffsteadter were present, as well.
A representative from Bear Development, the company that will construct the new housing at the Taft site, reported on the status of the project. Stake holder meetings have been held with the City of Peoria and residents of Taft. HUD has approved the initial application and the next phase is due by March 23, 2020. The Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) allows for specific number of public housing units to change to federal based vouchers. 226 Units at Taft will be demolished to make way for renovation; 142 new units will be built as single and duplex style homes. The East Bluff Project is also part of this effort. Jane Genzel, Executive Director of Peoria Opportunities Foundation was in the audience and gave overview: project consists of 16 RAD properties and will build 20 single family homes and 5 duplexes; all are 2-3 bedrooms and fully applianced. Bear Development expects the timeline for approval process and funding to take to the end of 2020. This funding will include Individual Development Accounts (IDA), which provides funds to persons of low income to promote asset building and promote home ownership.
Helen King stated the Taft project has full support from the PHA Board; Peoria City Council has also given support to the project. Director Newman stated that both of these approvals give strength to the project with HUD officials.
PHA will continue to meet with stakeholders to finalize plans and keep residents updated on the project. Current residents of Taft Housing would be eligible to apply for units in the East Bluff Project under the “Resident Right to Return” or they could opt for a new unit at Taft.
The meeting ended at 12:22 p.m. Connie Romanus, Observer
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