Columbia Housing Authority Applies for Federal Funds for Upgrades

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COLUMBIA - The Columbia Housing Authority has agreed to apply for federal HOME funds to help pay for upgrades in 84 public housing units on Lincoln and Unity drives, Worley Street and Hicks Drive.

The application, if approved by the Columbia Community Development Commission and City Council, would ask for $350,000 over two years from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for the rehabilitation projects. The housing authority is currently assessing the needs for 84 units located at Providence Family Townhomes.

Kayla Lyddon lives on Lincoln Drive in a unit that would likely benefit from federal funding. She said the apartments in her neighborhood are not uninhabitable, but they would definitely benefit from government-funded upgrades. "The apartment is very old," Lyddon said. "I just think it would be nicer if we're going to pay rent and stuff, we should have a nicer place to live."

This application would fall under the new HUD program called Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD). The program would turn these units into Section 8 housing, which, unlike public housing, would allow for private investment. Currently, the Columbia Housing Authority can only use federal funds to make repairs on public housing. The housing authority also plans to submit an application for Low-Income Housing Tax Credits from the Missouri Housing Development Commission.

Before the US Department of Housing and Urban Development reviews the housing authority's application, Columbia's Community Development Department and City Council must approve it.

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