June 23, 2004
HUD APPROVES $4 MILLION LOAN TO MODERNIZE SANFORD'S PUBLIC HOUSING
Former Resident Given Keys to Newly Renovated Unit at Lake Monroe
SANFORD, FL - U.S. Housing and Urban Development Assistant Secretary Michael Liu today announced HUD's approval of a $4 million loan from Wachovia Bank to the Sanford Housing Authority (SHA) to make major capital improvements on SHA's total public housing inventory - six developments that total 480 apartments.
"This loan is a down payment on a brighter tomorrow for the residents of Sanford," said Liu. "It will allow the progress the housing authority has made thus far to continue."
Joining Liu at the ceremony was SHA Receiver Larry Knightner and Wachovia Bank officials - Senior Vice President Mathew Ainsworth, Vice Presidents Pam Tyson and Lee Pitts. Also attending the ceremony were representatives for Congresswoman Corrine Brown and Congressman John Mica.
The loan will be used to renovate apartments at Lake Monroe Terrace, Redding Gardens, Cowan Moughton Terrace, Edward Higgins Terrace, William Clark and Castle Brewer Courts.
The loan will allow SHA to address immediately major modernization needs at these developments, such as roof replacements and plumbing and electrical system upgrades. The funds will also allow SHA to replace exterior and interior doors, floor tiles, screen doors, paint interior and exterior of buildings and units, renovate bathrooms and kitchens and install trash dumpster enclosures. SHA will also have funding for special services such as treating buildings for termites and water damage.
Without access to a large amount of upfront cash, it would take SHA at least eight years to perform this type of large-scale renovation to its inventory. Wachovia Bank provided the funding to make the immediate completion of this modernization program possible. SHA obtained this conventional loan from Wachovia Bank for a 15-year term and will repay the loan by using a portion of its annual federal Capital Fund grant over the next 15 years.
In addition to signing a memorandum of understanding, Liu and Knightner presented keys to Ethel Clincy, a resident of Lake Monroe Terrace, who moved from her unit because it was one of 16 units at Lake Monroe that were in total disrepair. Clincy, who cares for her disabled daughter, was promised she would be allowed to return once the units were fixed. Today she was given keys to her newly renovated unit and was presented a rose bush as a "welcome home" gift from Liu and Knightner.
Knightner said, "We want residents to know we remain committed to you and will keep the promises we made."
Clincy's unit was one of 93 units that HUD found in varying stages of total disrepair when the Department took control of the Sanford Housing Authority August 2003. In less than a year the receivership team, headed by Knightner, has worked to get 53 units completed and 40 units are under renovation. There were also an additional 36 units that were repaired and are now occupied. Renovation of these units was accomplished with resources within the housing authority when HUD took control.
In addition to bringing apartments back on-line, the receivership team is also responsible for improved resident services. Instead of resident waiting three days for an emergency repair, they get a response within 24 hours. When the receiver team came on board there were several hundred backlogged work orders. The receiver team has also established four resident councils that are involved in the planning process of the final renovations to all of the communities.
HUD is the nation's housing agency committed to increasing homeownership, particularly among minorities; creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans; and supporting the homeless, elderly, people with disabilities and people living with AIDS. The Department also promotes economic and community development as well as enforces the nation's fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet and espanol.hud.gov.