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Bremerton Housing Authority awarded $2.1 million

The Bremerton Housing Authority was awarded $2.1 million in funding from the Capital Fund Recovery Competition that will allow it to proceed with the redevelopment or replacement of a housing development that was stalled due to a lack of financing.

BHA was one of several housing authorities awarded competitive American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grants.

“The grants being awarded today are a perfect example of using the Recovery Act to rebuild the economy stronger and wiser by investing in new and emerging sustainable industries,” U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan stated in a news release.

In February, HUD allocated nearly $3 billion in Recovery Act funding to more than 3,100 public housing authorities across the U.S.

That funding is already being put to work by BHA to improve public housing and create safer, more livable environments for lower income residents, according to BHA. BHA received nearly $1.5 million in funding and $1.25 million has already been expended for infrastructure and site preparation work at the Bay Vista replacement housing project, the new community that will replace Westpark.

The remaining $207,591 is funding capital improvements at BHA’s 21-unit public housing site, Tara Heights, in East Bremerton.

The recent funding is part of an additional $1 billion in Public Housing Capital Funds designated by the Recovery Act to be awarded competitively.

BHA submitted a competitive application for funding to fill a financing gap for its first phase of public housing replacement and redevelopment work at the Bay Vista project.

The financing gap comes from declining real estate and tax credit equity markets resulting from the current economic downturn, according to BHA.

The CFRC grant funds will be used in combination with other financing sources to construct the next phase of the redevelopment plan, referred to as “The Summit at Bay Vista,” which includes construction of new infrastructure and 83 new rental units for low income families.

“This competitive grant comes at a significant time in the redevelopment of Westpark. We are now concluding the successful relocation of 571 families from the development and are embarking on the next construction phase, ‘The Summit at Bay Vista.’ We will be able to stay on schedule with our redevelopment timetable and keep progress moving forward,” BHA Executive Director Kurt Wiest said.

“The community has entrusted us with making positive change in Westpark and we take this charge very seriously. We are grateful for the continued support we receive from the many stakeholders associated with this project,” he said.

Construction on this first phase of work is expected to begin in spring 2010.

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