Officials with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development say they will be supportive as the Peoria Housing Authority decides how to re-develop the Taft Homes site. HUD representatives discussed programs the PHA could use to sell or demolish properties and either re-build or find replacement housing for residents.
One new program allows housing authorities to leverage their sites to borrow money, and receive housing vouchers in place of funding for public housing. But Consultant Mary Paumen says the problem is that HUD would stop funding the PHA’s operating and capital costs:
"It really affects the housing authority, not only the property but the housing authority’s what they call central office costs, how you’re paying your staff, (and) how you’re keeping the doors open. There’s going to have to be a lot of analysis for the housing authority to decide whether or not they want to do it.”
Paumen says the PHA would have to collaborate with the city and business community to create a revenue-producing site. Another HUD program would allow the PHA to sell the Taft site and demolish the units. But Paumen says HUD would require the property be sold at market value or to another affordable housing provider. The next community public hearing on the possible Taft redevelopment is August 19th.