Members Making News

July 2013

The Hoboken Housing Authority partnered with Music in Live Productions to organize participants for the 1st Annual Hoboken’s Got Talent competition, a city-wide talent showcase scheduled for mid-August. Auditions are open to Hoboken residents between the ages of 7 and 21. (Jul 12) 

Breaking Ground on Eastside Crossings
The Housing Authority of the City of El Paso, Hunt Companies, and Investment Builders, Inc., broke ground on Eastside Crossings, El Paso’s first mixed-income, mixed-finance apartment community. The property will feature 188 units of conventional public housing, Low-Income Housing Tax Credit and market rate units, all built to LEED Silver energy efficiency standard, as well as amenities for all of the residents including a clubhouse with a fitness center, a swimming pool, BBQ grills, walking trail, covered playground, and covered parking spaces. “This property is the wave of the future in our strategy to leverage federal and state tax dollars to provide housing to the full economic range of families in a place everyone can be proud to call home,” said HACEP CEO Gerald Cichon. Construction of the $22 million community is slated for completion in Fall 2014. Read HACEP’s press release. (July 12)  

Westlawn Gardens opening
On July 10, the Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee celebrated the formal opening of Westlawn Gardens, an $82 million transformation of the state’s largest public housing project that has won numerous awards in the past year from regional and national observers of housing development. “Milwaukee is leading the way for building sustainable, mixed-income neighborhoods with quality housing stock that is meant to last,” said Mayor Tom Barrett. Westlawn Gardens is now fully leased and includes multifamily buildings, townhomes and single-family homes housing more than 300 residents [video]; public and retail space; a partnership with Growing Power to make community gardens available to area residents; cutting-edge environmental and sustainability features; and innovative “healthy” homes features that make living with asthma and other disabilities easier. Read HACM’s press release. (July 10)

HHA Swim Club
Young Hoboken residents are learning the life-saving skill of swimming thanks to a partnership forged between the Hoboken Housing Authority and the Sky Club Fitness and Spa of Hoboken. The HHA Swim Club for Kids was started to ensure that housing residents are given the opportunity to take swimming lessons, and lessons were offered at a discounted rate and open to all housing residents between the ages of 6 and 11. “So many of our residents forgo swimming lessons because of the cost," said Executive Director Carmelo Garcia. "Swimming is an essential skill and the earlier proper water safety is taught the safer our children will be.” (July 9)

In mid-July, the Fresno Housing Authority and the Economic Development Corporation serving Fresno County organized workshops in Fresno, Orange Cove and Mendota to educate small businesses about contract opportunities in the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) Construction Project. Fresno Housing was selected by HUD in December to preserve some 440 low-income residential units in Fresno, Mendota and Parlier through participation in RAD, and the Housing Authority is now seeking small business contractors to help with a range of work, including carpentry, walls, electrical components, and general labor. These workshops will provide information about the first step in the process involving small business certification and financing options that will help win bids for RAD projects. (July 8)

New police officersNew police officers
The Philadelphia Housing Authority celebrated the success of its S.A.F.E. Program, which stands for Safe, Affordable Housing For Everyone, at the PHA Police Department swearing in ceremony on July 2. Nearly 50 new police recruits took their oaths of office, marking the first expansion of the PHAPD in over a decade. The Department will add 10 additional public housing residents to the force as well; those officer candidates will begin training next month at the Philadelphia Police Academy. Read PHA’s press release. (July 2)

Maintenance work at NYCHA

As of July 1, the New York City Housing Authority has reduced the number of open work orders to less than 220,000 from a peak of 423,000, a decrease that keeps NYCHA on target to achieve its goal of eliminating the backlog by the end of 2013. As NYCHA continues to implement its Action Plan throughout the year, residents will begin to see shorter wait times to address issues in their apartments.  The agency will aim to respond to simple maintenance requests within an average of seven days and to complex maintenance requests within an average of 15 days. Emergency repairs will continue to be handled within an average of 24 hours. Currently, NYCHA is addressing mildew, intercom, compactor, roof fans, doors, and public space lights repairs in less than two weeks. Read NYCHA’s press release. (July 1)