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Council to vote on $20M renovation plan

Council to vote on $20M renovation plan

Program would improve public housing units

February 25th, 2018 by Karl Richter in Texarkana News

A Texarkana, Texas, City Council vote expected Monday is one of the final steps in a $20 million plan to renovate almost 300 local public housing units.

The council will vote on authorizing a Housing Authority of Texarkana, Texas, application for tax credits to help fund the renovations, part of a financing package made possible by a Department of Housing and Urban Development program.

The program, called Rental Assistance Demonstration, changes public housing properties' legal status in a way that allows private capital investment in them.

The new program replaces the government-driven public housing model first enacted in the 1930s with a public-private partnership model, HATT CEO Antonio Williams said.

"Under the RAD program, HUD releases the deed to the housing authority, and we use that as equity" to leverage financing vehicles such as loans and tax credits, he said. When the Texas-side RAD conversion is completed this year, HATT will hold deeds worth about $90 million in equity.

HATT plans to spend about $20 million renovating 294 housing units in the Robison Terrace, Williams Homes, Hampton Homes and Bright Street properties, as well as several others scattered throughout the city.

Improvements will include remodeled kitchens and bathrooms with all-new appliances and fixtures; new roofs and windows; updated air-conditioning, plumbing and electrical; all-new lighting; upgraded elevators; and new landscaping.

If the City Council approves HATT's tax credit application, the next step is approval from the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs in March or April. Williams expects all the RAD conversions to close and construction to begin sometime in the second quarter of this year. The work should be finished by the third quarter of 2019.

Before its vote, the council will conduct a public hearing on the matter, during which any member of the public may speak.

The meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. at City Hall, 220 Texas Blvd.

On Twitter: @RealKarlRichter

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