Taft Homes project hits a snag

Jan 30, 2014

It appears the Peoria Housing Authority’s preferred method of funding the Taft Homes project is no longer an option. The authority’s administration gave an update on the progress of the development during a taskforce meeting.

The PHA applied for the new U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development program called Rental Assistance Demonstration or RAD. It would have allowed the authority to convert the public housing at Taft to Section 8 housing, giving the PHA secure funding for up to 20 years. RAD would’ve also allowed the authority to sell, transfer ownership or dispose of any property at Taft without HUD approval. But PHA officials have learned there’s a waiting list for housing authorities competing to be part of the program.

Peoria Housing Authority CEO Brenda Coates says the option is off the table for now.

“It swept from under us what our whole plan was, so now we are having to regroup and I don’t want to say start all over, but that’s what it feels like.”

Coates says the authority is still in the process of trying to find a co-developer in the effort to build up to six new apartment complexes throughout the city to accommodate the more than 200 housing units at Taft. She says the PHA hopes any partner working on the project will have some more ideas on financing the development.