Alexandria Housing Authority announces $67M investment to upgrade 556 housing units

Alexandria Housing Authority

ALEXANDRIA, La. (Alexandria Housing Authority) - The Alexandria Housing Authority (AHA) announced $67 million in upgrades to 556 housing units at multiple properties throughout the City of Alexandria. The upgrades are being funded under the relatively new Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program.

RAD, developed in 2012, is a federal program administered by the Department of Housing and Urban Development to improve and maintain public housing buildings by using public and private debt and equity to reinvest in public housing properties. Under RAD, units are moved to a Section 8 platform with a long-term contract that must be renewed, which ensures the units remain permanently affordable to low-income households.

According to RAD, public housing units across the country need more than $26 billion in repairs because necessary maintenance and repairs have been perpetually delayed. Because of this, an average of 10,000 public housing units are lost per year, primarily due to disrepair and unsafe housing conditions.

"This project will provide immediate as well as long-term benefits to Alexandria," said Executive Director Joseph P. Page. "The immediate benefits are the new jobs and spending during each construction phase. The long-term benefits are attractive, affordable housing for those with limited incomes, which can help prevent homelessness, revitalize neighborhoods, and be an asset to the broader community."

The new RAD initiative will be developed in three phases. Phase I (total of 384 units), which has been officially named Royal Cambridge Homes, includes enhancements and new construction at Legacy Heights on Loblolly Lane and East and West Sycamore in Alexandria. Phase II (total of 172 units), which has been officially named Harmony Garden Estates, includes enhancements at Fairway/Sunset on Monroe Street, Green Meadows on Sugarhouse Road, and Miracle Plaza on Duhon Lane all in Alexandria. Phase Ill, which is pending approval by the Louisiana Housing Corporation, has been officially named Magnolia Crossing and includes enhancements at the Carver Village property on Lee Street in Alexandria.

According to the AHA, this is their largest affordable housing rehabilitation project ever.

"We're extremely excited about these upgrades, as some of our housing units date back to the 1940s," said Page. "While this is a significant investment in affordable housing for low-income residents, this also is an investment in the economy of Central Louisiana. Human well-being and economic growth go hand-in-hand. When residents have access to safe, decent, sanitary, and affordable housing, the entire community is more stable."

There will be a job fair for the AHA RAD project on October 20, 2017, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., at the Alexandria Campus of Central Louisiana Technical Community College (CLTCC).

"We are partnering with CLTCC to find workers to fill the positions needed to get this project moving forward," said Page. "Public housing residents and residents in general are strongly encouraged to attend the job fair to research employment opportunities that arise from this project."

B.A.S. Construction is the general contractor for the project.