EVANSVILLE, Ind. – At a symbolic groundbreaking on Wednesday, the Evansville Housing Authority (EHA), Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and other officials kicked off the $18.2 million Phase 1 refurbishment of public housing apartments under a new HUD program known as RAD (Rental Assistance Demonstration Project).
Evansville is one of the first cities in the nation selected for participation in RAD, a HUD program that creates a foundation to sustain long-term, affordable, quality housing for low income families.
Wednesday’s news conference and groundbreaking took place at White Oak Manor, an EHA public housing property located at 509 N. St. Joseph Ave. in Evansville.
Long-Term, Sustainable Funding
“EHA’s conversion to the RAD program means we will operate on a more stable platform through a public/private partnership,” noted EHA Executive Director Rick Moore. “EHA will no longer have to depend exclusively on federal funding to sustain our properties, so we look to the future with much optimism.”
EHA applied for participation in the RAD project with the objective of securing more stable, long-term means of supporting public housing renovations, repairs and maintenance. Previously, congressional allotments for public housing changed from year to year, often resulting in problematic budget cuts at local levels.
Phase 1 Serving 559 Families
Currently, approximately 5,043 Evansville residents are living in public housing or receiving subsidized voucher assistance, EHA reports.
RAD Phase 1 construction updates, repairs and improvements will affect 62 percent of Evansville’s 888 public housing units. Renovations will include plumbing and HVAC updates, in addition to painting, patching, cleaning and modern cosmetic improvements.
RAD Phase 1 will affect 559 families who will transition to updated, refurbished public housing apartments. Most of these will move into updated apartments in the same developments where they had been living.
Rick Moore adds that the conversion to RAD funding will enable EHA to provide a greater number of housing units for low income residents and those receiving subsidized voucher assistance.
Completion Dates and New Management
Moore Phase 1 RAD improvements are expected to be completed by June 30, 2017. Phase 2 improvements – representing $13.5 million in updates and repairs – will begin before Phase 1 is finished. Projected completion date for Phase 2 construction is late 2017.
The groundbreaking and news conference brought together some of the companies who partnered with and assisted EHA in winning acceptance into the RAD project, including Alliant Capital and Flaherty & Collins Properties.
As a result of EHA’s conversion to the RAD project, Flaherty & Collins Properties has assumed the role of overseeing Phase 1 and Phase 2 renovations and long-term EHA property management. In addition, the company will assist in relocating EHA residents to their updated homes – at no cost to the residents — throughout the transitional process.