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Curb Appeal: The Block, PHA Edition

One of the most common things we hear at the PHA is a concern with our sites’ overall curb appeal. When it comes to redevelopment, many will point to our current sites and ask: “How we can expect anyone to want this in their neighborhood?”

We recognize that there are on-going issues with curb appeal at our older buildings. Here’s what we’re doing to fix it:

Peeling Paint and Siding Issues
The City of Peoria has received complaints from Peoria citizens who believe, for example, that Taft Homes has peeling paint and siding that should not be considered acceptable. In a response to those claims, the City of Peoria has held hearings on this matter with the PHA, and we’ve come up with an agreeable timeline to remedy these problems.

Simply put, the PHA does not want to be treated differently than any other public agency or any other landlord. Our HUD representatives are cautious about the PHA putting in too much money into a site that is expected to be demolished. Understanding that, the City has graciously given us a two-tiered timeline to fix the issue. A majority of this issues will be remedied by October 2015, and the remainder of the project will be completed by October 2016.

Litter
Another common question: “What we are you going to do about the litter at Taft Homes?” On some weekends, the litter on site is not great, and we know that. Our asset management team takes pride in how much work they put in to making Taft Homes and Harrison Homes a clean place. We’re working with our residents to come up with proactive solutions that will help ensure long-lasting site beautification.

When we see our residents going above-and-beyond what is required of them in their lease in an effort to make their home as beautiful as can be, we want to reward that. That’s why we’ve started the new resident incentive store, Ten Below on Green. Residents who give to their community are going to get more than self gratification in return—they’re going to get extra resources they might not have the money for, such as cleaning supplies or clothes for their children. Thanks to strategic partnerships with organizations like NAEIR, we’re able to provide our residents with greater incentives to maintain a beautiful home and apartment complex.

General Curb Appeal
So many Peoria County residents are concerned with a decline in their property values if/ when affordable housing is relocated into their neighborhood. That’s a huge concern; your home is something you’ve likely spent most of your life saving for. It’s an investment you don’t want messed with.

The truth is there is no real link between affordable housing and lower property values. In fact, well-maintained affordable housing has even been shown to have a positive impact on surrounding property values. That might be hard for some to believe, but just look at RiverWest or the new units at Harrison. At the PHA, we know we can positively transform a neighborhood. In fact, last year our beautification efforts at Sterling Towers earned a national award.

When any new type of housing—public or private—is built in a neighborhood, it has to fit in with the current neighborhood. We’re confident in our abilities to help transform any neighborhood while providing all residents of Peoria County with more affordable housing choice.

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