$30M in loans for improvements: Bloomington Housing Authority’s Crestmont Community

At its Wednesday meeting, the city council approved the final step in a process that will lend $30M to an entity created by Bloomington Housing Authority (BHA), called Bloomington RAD II, LP.

The money will be used to make  improvements to the 196-unit public housing complex on the city’s northeast side.

A preliminary step in the process was approved by the city council in February.

As part of the improvements, apartments will be reconfigured to accommodate wheelchairs. Safety features will be added. All the apartments will get new flooring, new kitchen cabinets, countertops, dishwashers, and washers and dryers.

Apartments will also get high efficiency furnaces, and air conditioner condensers, new windows, new roofs, and site lighting, according to BHA executive director, Amber Skoby. Continue reading “$30M in loans for improvements: Bloomington Housing Authority’s Crestmont Community”

Future housing in Bloomington to get boost with 28 emergency vouchers, $2.25M in federal funds, “multi-million dollar” request to city council by mayor

At a Tuesday press conference held on the back porch of the Bloomington Housing Authority’s community center on Summit Street, some new information was announced about support from the federal government for local housing programs.

Bloomington’s mayor, John Hamilton, also announced that in July he’d be making a request of the city council to support housing initiatives, through an extra appropriation for the 2021 budget year.

The mayor’s request will be for a “multi-million dollar” investment of Bloomington’s allocation of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds. Bloomington’s total amount of basic ARPA funds is around $22 million.

In other news announced on Tuesday, Bloomington Housing Authority executive director Amber Skoby said BHA is one of 700 housing authorities across the country that is receiving 28 new emergency vouchers. The vouchers are for individuals and families who are experiencing homelessness, at risk of homelessness, fleeing, or attempting to flee domestic violence or who were recently homeless.

The emergency vouchers will be available starting July 1.

The city’s housing and neighborhood development (HAND) director, John Zody, prefaced his remarks by noting that last year Bloomington had received $250,000 in additional CDBG funds, to help respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Zody announced that another $650,000 in pandemic-related CDBG funds will be made available for applications starting next week.

An additional fresh set of housing funds was announced by Zody. Bloomington will get  $1.6 million more through the American Rescue Plan.

The money can be used specifically for the preservation or production of affordable housing, tenant-based rental assistance, supportive services including homeless prevention services, and housing counseling, Zody said. No final guidance from the feds on the use of the extra $1.6 million has been provided, Zody said.

Also at Tuesday’s press conference, Tina Peterson (Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County) and Efrat Feferman (United Way of Monroe County) gave an update on their work to build a coalition to establish needed collaboration and coordination for the countywide area, to create a sustainable strategy to reduce housing insecurity and prevent homelessness.

Continue reading “Future housing in Bloomington to get boost with 28 emergency vouchers, $2.25M in federal funds, “multi-million dollar” request to city council by mayor”

Crestmont public housing renovations to be funded with $30M bond issuance, units converted to federal RAD program

Bloomington Housing Authority is now in the final stages of converting all of its traditional public housing units to a new funding model, which gives vouchers to residents of the units.

To help make that happen, Bloomington’s city council voted unanimously at its meeting last Wednesday to approve the preliminary issuance of $30 million in bonds, which will be lent to an entity called Bloomington RAD II, LP.

The limited partnership will use the proceeds of the bond issuance to take over the 196 apartments of BHA’s Crestmont Community public housing complex and renovate the units. Continue reading “Crestmont public housing renovations to be funded with $30M bond issuance, units converted to federal RAD program”

Bonds for first step of Bloomington’s public housing conversion get final OK from city council

At its regular Wednesday meeting, Bloomington’s city council voted unanimously to approve the issuance of up to $11 million in economic development notes to support the renovation of Bloomington’s public housing stock.

The bond issuance approved this week was for rehabbing two of the three Bloomington Housing Authority (BHA) properties—the Walnut Woods and Reverend Butler sites. BHA’s executive director, Amber Skoby, told the council that planning will start this summer for similar work on the third BHA site—the Crestmont Community.

“After that’s done, we won’t have any more public housing in Bloomington,” Skoby said.

Councilmember Steve Volan’s reaction conveyed amazement: “Does that mean you won’t have a job? I don’t understand.” Continue reading “Bonds for first step of Bloomington’s public housing conversion get final OK from city council”