Plans for renovating 200 public housing apartment units in Lexington carry a whole new financing and construction strategy. The project involves the Pimlico Apartment complex on Centre Street. Federal Housing and Urban Development's Greg Byrne participated in the ceremony today.
"We've allowed them to work with private investors, and lenders, and all that, just like anybody else who owns multi-family real estate. Bringing public housing into the 21st century," said Byrne.
Lexington Housing Authority Director Austin Simms says the 15 million dollar "Centre Meadows" project will be a good 'shot in the arm for the community.' Council member George Meyers says previous problems with drug and other criminal activity has declined in recent years.
"When this is repopulated, it's gonna be a whole new group of people. So, I think the Housing Authority will do a really good job of screening who comes back here, so that they know who's here and they understand the rules and the lay of the land," said Meyers.
Byrne says the new federal program targets 60 thousand units nationwide, with Lexington one of the first cities to participate. Simms says there were structural concerns at the Pimlico Apartments. He says under the old project, there weren't sufficient funds to fix the problems. The veteran housing authority administrator says under the new program "We're taking care of it all." The new units are expected to be completed in about two years.