HUD Recovery Act Dollars Generate Jobs, Contracting Opportunities and Affordable Housing

C. Williams Brooks, an elderly affordable housing facility in Hagerstown, is on track for completion in June of 2011.

HUD Recovery Act dollars are helping to fund the construction of an elderly affordable housing facility at 45 West Baltimore Street in Hagerstown, MD. The 60 unit, $14.4 million project received $9,879,750 in ARAA funding in 2009. Hagerstown Housing Authority spokesperson, Ted Shankle, says the award amount is the largest given to any Housing Authority in the State of Maryland. The facility, named the C. Williams Brooks building, is on track for completion by June 2011.

Shankle says, “Naturally we are pleased that we will soon be able to provide a number of Hagerstown area senior citizens with the kind of attractive, affordable housing they so richly deserve. We are also excited about the jobs that have been created for local companies, as well as other revenues that will be generated by the development project. We believe the C. Williams Brooks building is a perfect example of how the ARRA stimulus funds are to be used. The public monies we received are being channeled to local firms who are putting local people to work.”

The building is named in honor of Ms. Carolyn Brooks for her 19 years of service as Chairperson of the Hagerstown Housing Authority Board of Directors and her grandfather, T. Andrew Williams, who held the position for 14 years prior to her. Philadelphia based Pennrose Properties and its general contractor Southway Builders, created a Section 3 Plan for the development of the building. They have also taken steps to ensure that low- and very low-income persons and the businesses that substantially employ these persons will be given priority consideration for employment and contracting opportunities. Pennrose also agreed to spend a minimum of 60% of all contracting dollars on firms located within 25 miles of the project area.

Each of the 60 apartments in the four-story complex will have one bedroom and one bathroom. It will be a green building with geothermal heat and air conditioning. All the units will be fully accessible for individuals with disabilities, and the building will be within walking distance of downtown Hagerstown. All will be considered public housing reserved for seniors who will have their rent subsidized by HUD through the HHA. As part of the development, a new public park will be created between the building and West Baltimore Street for all Hagerstown residents. At the center of the park will sit a 14-foot tall cupola and weather vane. This historical remnant, which once topped the former H.L. Mills gas station, will be a reminder of the site’s history.

Artist rendering of C. Williams Brooks complex

Content Archived: May 25, 2012