The Richmond Register

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January 4, 2013

Blighted homes will be torn down

RICHMOND — A waiting list already exists for a 10-unit residential care complex in Richmond that will be built with grant funding.

Eight blighted homes, including those at 299 and 301 Westover Avenue and 900, 901, 903, 904, 905 and 906 Tipton Court, will be demolished to build the facilities, according to Betsy Milburn, Richmond’s community development director.

“It’s a city of Richmond project for FAHE (Federation of Appalachian Housing Enterprises),” Milburn explained. “It’s part of our community development project.”

Bids for the demolition of the eight existing properties are being taken now, and the homes may be demolished as early as next month, Milburn said. Construction should begin in March.

The new complex will include two four-plexes and one duplex, all of which will be handicap accessible.

Of eight blighted structures, only two were occupied when the city purchased the properties. The two residents were given assistance in relocating, she said.

“Most of them had asbestos, roaches or some type of infestation and needed to be torn down,” Milburn said. “There’s a greater good because it’s going to be for the elderly and/or disabled. This is a blighted area that has been run over with infestation and it’s really not livable.”

The Kentucky Housing Authority will be managing the properties, she said.

The city received a Community Development Block Grant for $890,500 for the project, and an additional $300,000 came from the Kentucky Housing Corporation. With more money coming from Pioneer Housing, another branch of the Kentucky Housing Authority, the total project will be about $1.6 million, Milburn said.

“That covers grant administration, architecture work, engineering, the demolition and reconstruction,” she said. “We also will have a new road put in there and a detention basin for water, because there have been some water issues there.”

Ronica Shannon can be reached at rshannon@richmondregister.com or 624-6608.

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