The new Rental Assistance Demonstration program will soon help Lackawanna renovate its 491 municipal housing units located at three complexes throughout the city, said one official from the city’s municipal housing authority.
“We currently have a 20-year physical needs assessment being completed on all of our properties and we have received preliminary pricing estimates from contractors of over $10 million in hard costs,” said Norman L. Polanski Jr., MHA executive director.
The new program will allow Lackawanna housing authorities to mortgage land and buildings to private entities, who then can use tax credits to provide subsidized rent through Section 8 contracts.
“Even our best units need improvements,” said Polanski, about the 94-unit Parkview Towers at 600 Ridge Road. “The new program will give us the ability to replace windows, update elevator shafts and renovate the boiler.”
Over the last few years, the department of Housing and Urban Development significantly reduced the funding for public housing authorities. The new RAD program could bring privatization of public housing one step closer.
Dorothy Glover Gardens off Gates and Wasson avenues and Baker Homes in the city’s First Ward will also be renovated, Polanski said.
“We have people who feared we would move them out and send them somewhere else,” said Polanski. “That is not why we’re here.”
• City Council will caucus at 6:30 p.m. Monday with regular meeting to follow in Council Chambers, 714 Ridge Road.