Orange Housing Authority Cites Insufficient Funding

Members of the Orange Housing Authorityand staff of U.S. Rep. Donald Payne Jr., D-10th District, and U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., attended the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials Washington Conference, where they discussed dwindling resources from the Public Housing Capital Fund.

The Public Housing Capital Fund provides resources to housing authorities throughout the country. The conference was held last week in Washington, D.C.

“In order for us to continue our work, we need the support of housing tax credits to be re-directed to urban towns that are in need to desperate revitalization,” OHA Commissioner Joseph Juliano said.

OHA Executive Director Walter McNeil, Jr. said increased HUD regulations have had a serious impact on the OHA.

“Our housing authority is required to do more with less,” McNeil said. “We are also expected to administer HUD programs requiring an increasing amount of paperwork and reporting that is of unknown or questionable value.”

McNeil asked legislators for support and to advocate to members of Congress to provide regulatory relief, citing advantages such as better use of current funding, saving HUD monitoring costs and allowing small agencies to focus more on residents.

The OHA has invested more than $50 million with the construction of the first three phases of the Dr. Walter G. Alexander Village, as well as the Oakwood Avenue Development.

Some 69 of 387 Orange properties the agency is responsible for are vacant, abandoned or in deteriorating condition. The agency plans continued redevelopment of these vacant and abandoned properties.