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Johnstown Housing Authority Meeting

The Johnstown Housing Authority held a public hearing on Thursday to obtain public comments on the Authority’s Annual Plan for FY 2024, the 2024 Capital Fund Annual Statement, the Five-Year Statement as well as a Significant Amendment to the Annual Plan for FY 2023.

The amendment specifically addressed the situation in Prospect after 101 families were given notice back in March to vacate the premises due to what the authority called a discovery of structural deficiencies.

“JHA’s intent is to repair the structures and invite residents back as soon as possible, rather than applying for demolition through HUD and considering redevelopment. Repair activities would likely be funded through HUD Capital Fund Programs with additional sources also being explored.”

A letter was sent out on September 1st to former Prospect residents about the intent to renovate.

“The plan is to allocate some currently unobligated funds to the repair of prospect as long as it’s affordable, We’re optimistic that it is going to be affordable, but we won’t know until the drawings and specs get out to the public and then we can receive some sealed bids.”

We asked the housing authority about when residents can expect work to start if the plan to repair goes through.

“The timeline is really just ASAP as far as we’re concerned, Right now, as soon as those bids open work could start within months of that. So, we should have a pretty good idea of what’s going to happen this year, this calendar year.”

But the JHA emphasizes that the plans are still not set in stone as resident complain about a lack of communication and transparency.

“It’s just been tough, We’re kind of in a holding pattern, waiting, waiting, waiting, and I wish I had something more concrete to say two months ago, three months ago, but we’re still not at a place where we can say definitively for sure that yes, we’re going to fix them up and invite everybody back. Based on the recent estimates after doing some more in-depth research, we think it’s going to be affordable to us.”

We spoke with some of the people who attended the meeting about their thought on the JHA’s plans.

“This is kind of getting ridiculous to the point where we literally had to get this far just to get answers, I am so tired of them leaving us in the shadows and I feel like they’re hiding from us.”

There was also some confusion as to who was allowed to speak during the public hearing. The JHA stating that only those who pre-registered were allowed.

“We want accountability, We want honesty. They wouldn’t answer our questions on record.”

The next Johnstown Housing Authority Meeting will be on September 26th.

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