| News

Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Westmoreland housing authority seeks OK to use facilities as collateral for renovations

Email Newsletters

Sign up for one of our email newsletters.
Monday, Oct. 21, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

The Westmoreland County Housing Authority could reclassify about 25 percent of its public housing inventory as part of a move to raise as much as $15 million to pay for renovations.

Authority board members last week voted to apply for participation in the Rental Assistance Demonstration Program, a new federal program that transfers public housing units to Section 8 subsidized housing.

The program run by the Department of Housing and Urban Development would reclassify 60,000 units throughout the country, a move that would enable local housing agencies to raise money for capital improvements.

For the authority, the move would affect 503 apartments in New Kensington, Arnold and Lower Burrell.

Authority Executive Director Michael Washowich said residents wouldn't experience direct impact from the bookkeeping maneuver because rents and other services should not be impacted.

The program would allow the authority to post the properties as collateral as well as leverage future rent payments from those apartments to secure bank loans that can be used for renovations.

The authority could receive as much as $15 million in loans, Washowich said.

“This would be an immediate infusion of capital money to make the renovations for a long period of time,” Washowich said.

The authority has more than 1,950 public housing units spread throughout the county.

Tenants in the public housing units pay rent based on their incomes. Section 8 housing tenants receive vouchers for reduced rents.

Tenants in apartments impacted by the potential switch would not experience a change in their rents, Washowich said.

It is unknown when HUD could approve of the switch, Washowich said.

Additional public housing units in other locations of the county could be added if the nationwide program is later expanded, Washowich said.

Rich Cholodofsky is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-830-6293 or

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.




Show commenting policy

Most-Read Westmoreland

  1. French and Indian War re-enactor Wilson commits to pioneer lifestyle in Murrysville cabin
  2. Drones hover at top of holiday wish lists
  3. Family collecting donations for Salem man seriously injured in deer stand fall
  4. Greensburg streetlights to be updated, save city $90K
  5. Contractor eyes early finish to work on New Stanton interchange of Interstate 70
  6. Jeannette trudges through blight
  7. Indiana County school employee allegedly showed 2 students an inappropriate photo
  8. $2,000 donated for abused puppies recovering at South Huntingdon shelter
  9. School lunch group hopes to revise rules it calls impractical, too restrictive
  10. Excela, Pitt-Greensburg team on legacy videos for those in twilight of lives
  11. Western Pa. students bristle at changing menu choices