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NEW CASTLE Hope for public housing tenants



Published: Thu, June 14, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



A similar project in Farrell received a $9 million federal grant.

By LAURE CIOFFI

VINDICATOR NEW CASTLE BUREAU

NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- The Lawrence County Housing Authority will look at a program that takes low-income people out of public housing projects and puts them into neighborhoods.

LCHA operates four high-rise buildings and eight projects in Ellwood City and New Castle.

Federally funded Hope IV has been implemented in Farrell's Steel City Terrace and in the Manchester section of Pittsburgh.

The goal is to create mixed income neighborhoods that don't differentiate between public and private housing.

New Castle officials first contacted the housing authority about the idea as part of the city's downtown revitalization program.

New Castle Council is expected to hire consultant Ralph Falbo to conduct a housing market study.

Falbo is also being considered for the yearlong study to determine if Hope IV would work in Lawrence County.

The Mercer County Housing Authority agreed to implement Hope IV in Farrell in November 1998.

What it will do: The $20 million project will eliminate the 50-year-old, barracks-style Steel City Terrace complex and replace it with 70 new apartments and 65 new or renovated homes in the surrounding neighborhood.

A $9 million grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is paying for part of the project.

Falbo has offered to take housing authority and council members on a tour of Steel City Terrace and Manchester.

LCHA board chairman Robert Session and member Jeff Scrim say they like the Hope IV idea.

Director Robert Evanick will get more information about the program for next month's meeting.




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