PMHA hopeful for nearly $5M for Wayne Hills renovations


PORTSMOUTH — Portsmouth Metropolitan Housing Authority (PMHA) has applied for tax credit funds totaling close to $5M to renovate Wayne Hills, the oldest of all of the PMHA housing, according to Peggy Rice, executive director of PMHA.

‘It is actually going to be a HUD/RAD deal,” Rice said. “RAD stands for Rental Assistance Demonstration, and we are looking at converting Wayne Hills, RAD is where you find outside sources for funding, and HUD allows you to be able to convert your property to be able to do major renovations. And so we are looking at four percent tax credits. Our deal I believe, for the actual renovation is close to five million.”

Wayne Hills first opened in 1942, and is the oldest of PMHA, according to Rice.

“So with this we are looking at trying to convert Wayne Hills under the RAD Program, and that would allow us to generate enough resources that we could go in and do a major renovation,” she said. Wayne Hill is our oldest site, its 75 years old, first established in I believe October of 1942 and that’s been quite a while.”

Scott Dutey, Superintendent of Portsmouth City Schools (PCSD) said he was recently invited by Rice to attend a meeting regarding the PMHA plans to update Wayne Hills. Dutey believes improvements will make a tremendous impact upon PCSD students who reside in Wayne Hills.

“I was invited to a Portsmouth Metropolitan Housing Authority meeting. I was invited by Peggy Rice, who always attends our Forums, and is really involved with our District so I am really glad that I was able to go,” Dutey said. “She (Rice) shared some information with us that I think is really going to have a positive impact on our District and on our kids, and our families. They are in the process of updating some of their housing units within our city that we are responsible for. When you think about that impact, the updating and all of the things that they are going to be involved with over the next couple of years, particularly Wayne Hills. When our kids feel good about their home life, and where they are going, and where they spend their time, and their families feel good about it makes a huge impact. I was thrilled to hear the presentation, and all of the things they are going to be doing, and I am looking forward to that.”

If PMHA does receive the multi-million dollar funds for Wayne Hills renovations, Rice said there are numerous updating projects already planned that need to take place.

“We still have a lot of plaster, we will be taking out plaster and replacing it with sheet rock,” Rice said. “We still have some of the original cast iron plumbing in the walls that we will be replacing and updating. We will be updating our bathrooms and our kitchens.”

The heating system is among the updates as well in Wayne Hills.

“We heat with radiators, with boilers, we’ve replaced our boilers already, so they’re new, but we’ll be replacing the radiators inside the apartments with a higher efficiency radiator in which there will be better controls inside the units,” Rice said. “New flooring, new counter tops, kitchen cabinets. So we are going to be doing extensive work.”

PMHA owns 886 units throughout the local area, consisting of Wayne Hills, Farley Square Miller Manor in Wheelersburg, Lett Terrace on the west side of Portsmouth.

Additionally, PMHA owns three high rise buildings, Alexandria House, Hudson House.

PMHA also owns 95 of what are called scattered sites within Portsmouth city limits, 13 of the 95 are actually in Sciotoville, and the remainder is here inside Portsmouth.

PMHA is expected to be notified by the end of next month as to whether they will get the funds they are seeking.

“”We have applied, and are waiting to hear back from the State on that application,” Rice said. “With our capital fund dwindling every year, it becomes more and more difficult to get all of the work done that we need to do. We are hoping to hear from the State by late April. OFA, the Ohio Housing Finance Agency are the ones who administer the Tax Credit Program here in the State of Ohio. So we are waiting to hear back from them.”

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Wayne Hills, the oldest of the Portsmouth Metropolitan Housing housing projects may undergo renovations in the near future. Hills, the oldest of the Portsmouth Metropolitan Housing housing projects may undergo renovations in the near future.

By Portia Williams

[email protected]

Reach Portia Williams at 740-353-3101, ext. 1929, or on Twitter @PortiaWillPDT.

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