HUD announces funding for Two Harbors housingThe U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded $30.7 million to public housing authorities in Minnesota, the department reported last week, including $56,356 for the Two Harbors Housing and Redevelopment Authority.
By: Lake County News-Chronicle, Lake County News Chronicle
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded $30.7 million to public housing authorities in Minnesota, the department reported last week, including $56,356 for the Two Harbors Housing and Redevelopment Authority.
The money will go toward a new handicapped-accessible door at Bayview Terrace, HRA director Judith Osbakken said. Money will also be spent on updating apartment kitchens and flooring.
If there is money left over, Osbakken said, continuing work from 2010 could be done in replacing windows. Carpets were also replaced last year.
Bayview is the only public housing property in the city. It has 58 units and is used mostly for seniors, military veterans, and the disabled.
While the funding is “nice,” Osbakken said it keeps dwindling each year, from as much as $83,000 in the past. Osbakken creates a capital fund budget for HUD and it gets reviewed. She said she never knows how much the HRA will actually get and it’s not always guaranteed. HUD requires a five-year plan for upkeep on properties such as Bayview and does inspections.
The funding announced last week will allow agencies across the state to make improvements to housing units.
HUD’s Capital Fund Program provides annual funding to all public housing authorities to build, repair, renovate or modernize the public housing in their communities. The funding can be used to make large-scale improvements such as new roofs and to make energy-efficient upgrades to replace old plumbing and electrical systems.
HUD realizes the money is coming up short. “While this funding will certainly help housing authorities address long-standing capital improvements, it only scratches the surface,” HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan said.
“Housing Authorities need nearly $26 billion to keep these homes safe and decent for families, but given our budget realities, we must find other, innovative ways to confront the decline of our public housing stock.”
HUD is working on several initiatives to restructure how funding is meted out to help housing authorities keep up.