Friday, September 22, 2000

Newport board weighing housing options

No decisions made about grant plans

By Terry Flynn
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        NEWPORT — The Newport Housing Authority board of directors met with a housing consultant Thursday but announced no further decision about the movement of public housing residents through Hope VI grant funding.

        Consultant Jan Rubin of Philadelphia was on hand to discuss how and when the Housing Authority will select sites in Newport for the construction of new housing or renovation of existing structures with the $28.2 million grant.

        But because the discussions involved property acquisition, the board met behind closed doors in executive session to consider site selection.

        "We're working right now to determine which sites we will move on, and how we will approach the project,” Ms. Rubin said. "We still haven't come to a decision on where we will go first.”

        The Housing Authority recently won a $28.2 million Hope VI grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

        The plan is to move eligible residents living in the city's public housing project to affordable housing throughout Newport. Eventually all of the 202 public housing units located off Fourth Street behind the flood wall will be empty and the property will be sold for development.

Possible sites
        Among the sites under consideration but not confirmed are:

        • A three-story building at the corner of Ninth and Monmouth streets, and an adjoining building on Monmouth.

        • An undetermined number of lots along Saratoga Street between Fifth and 11th streets.

        • About four blocks of 13th Street, from Monmouth to the Wagon Bridge.

        • Two buildings in the block of 11th Street between Saratoga and Washington.

        • A building on Ninth Street near Isabella Street.

        Residents of the housing project have not been officially informed which sites will be used or when people will be notified if they have been approved for a move.

        "We're still waiting for the final, face-to-face official word from HUD in Washington, when we officially get the money” Housing Authority executive director Mark Brown said Thursday. "There will be a series of meetings with the residents, and we could start those meetings in about six weeks.”


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