Decreasing Grant Money Means Slower Repairs for Public Housing - FOX 21/27 WFXR Roanoke/WWCW Lynchburg News, Weather

Decreasing Grant Money Means Slower Repairs for Roanoke Public Housing

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Leaders with the Roanoke Redevelopment Housing Authority say getting maintenance issues solved will be a slower process with less money from an annual grant.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded the authority $1.7 million.

That's more than a $300,000 cut from last year, and a 40 percent decrease from 2011.

Some living in public housing say they haven't seen the budget decrease impact repairs just yet.

"If something needs to be fixed, they come and fix it," LaTarsha Battle, who lives in Roanoke public housing. "They don't hesitate about it. If you need something done, they will get it done."

Getting everyone's needs met is something the executive director of the housing authority says will be a challenge.

Some of the houses date back to 1950 and we're told if things like aging appliances, electrical equipment, and sidewalk repairs aren't fixed now, it may cost more later.

"If you let property deteriorate over time, you can end up having it deteriorate to the point where it would cost a lot to do those reports all the way," executive director Glenda Edwards says.

The wait list to get into these houses already has hundreds of names on it. Some people have been on the list for up to three years.

The housing authority is hoping to win a $30 million grant that would revitalize about 70 blocks in northwest Roanoke.