The Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development is expected to make a formal announcement in January.
The Section 8 program was started 37 years ago as a way to help low-income, elderly or individuals with disabilities obtain safe affordable homes. The program provides a monthly subsidy, which is typically close to 70 percent of the household’s monthly income.
The conversion of the 170-plus units, part of HUD’s Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program, is part of a competitive nationwide effort to convert public housing to Section 8 housing.
NWGHA said that the same group that built the Ashland Park Apartments has indicated a desire to help the authority serve as a developer for the complex. Architect Bill Jones will be working on the project and Wendy Green, who was active in the Etowah Terrace Senior Village with Mercy Housing for a period of time, will also work with the housing authority on the RAD project.
“HUD is saying that they still want the housing authority to own the property but with tax credit, I don’t know how that’s going to work out,” Sandra Hudson, executive director of the authority, told the NWGHA board of directors. “We’ll just have to wait and see how they want us to handle this.”
The RAD program, according to Hudson’s assessment, is designed to give public housing operators an opportunity to get private money to renovate its units.
“Most housing authority units are falling apart because there isn’t enough capital fund money to do it,” Hudson said. “This is their way of giving us another way of financing the remodeling of these units”
Hudson said that 25 units in the Willingham Village complex in West Rome have been freshly renovated in the last two years. As the 151 remaining units get major upgrades, their current tenants would be relocated temporarily. “When those units are ready, they will have first choice to move back into those units,” Hudson said. “We’re going to have to do this in phases.”
Under the RAD program, Gary Hammond’s group from Ashland Park would partner with the housing authority to own the units but after the tax credits have expired, ownership of the apartments would revert back to the housing authority.