Richmond Housing Authority gets lift from Recovery Act

The Richmond Housing Authority is getting an early Christmas present from Uncle Sam.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced last week the RHA will receive more than $181,000 from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
RHA Director Nancy Pearson said she has been working for over a month on paperwork associated with the grant.
“This is wonderful,” she said. “Our units are getting to the point they need some major updating. It is going to generate some revenue for the people we are going to hire to do this.”
Pearson said she gets calls on a regular basis from contractors, engineers and just people looking for work. She said the focus when it comes time to looking for contractors would go to local people and companies.
The RHA has 118 units. Pearson said they try to do work to empty units first to avoid disturbing residents.
Many restrictions and stipulations come attached to the grant, including moving quickly on the projects. Pearson said that is not a problem because they have been ahead of the game as far as planning.
All projects must be on the RHA’s annual plan or five year plan. Pearson said every project on the wish list is on the plan, which will save a couple of week’s time avoiding a public comment period.
She said they are also required to have a needs assessment done, but one was just completed months ago.
Pearson spent the last couple of days meeting with maintenance personnel to go over potential projects and then the board is expected to approve the projects tonight.
Some projects on the wish list include replacing doors, windows, furnaces, insulation and security lighting. The RHA is also looking at drainage issues, fencing for the playground and updates to the community room.
Pearson said whatever projects are not completed with money may be able to be picked up in the fall when the RHA receives its annual distribution.

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