Local Housing Authorities receive federal funding for capital improvements

Three Housing Authorities in Aroostook County have received funding from the Department of Housing and Urban Development to continue capital improvement projects this year.

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — Three Housing Authorities in Aroostook County have received funding from the Department of Housing and Urban Development to continue capital improvement projects this year.

HUD recently announced that the Presque Isle Housing Authority has received $526,403 during the latest round of appropriated funding from HUD’s Capital Fund Program, while Fort Fairfield and Van Buren’s housing authorities received $191,699 and $252,941, respectively.

Every year HUD allocates federal funds approved for its Capital Fund Program to state and local housing authorities, with the exact amounts varying by the number of housing units each authority operates.

Jennifer Trombley, executive director of the Presque Isle Housing Authority, said that their funds will continue the siding replacements for public housing units on Birch Street, the installation of new entrance areas for housing units for the elderly on Birch Street, new back steps for Carmichael Street units and a paving project, for which the exact location has yet to be determined.

The installation of new siding on Birch Street units, Trombley noted, is especially crucial, since the units were built in 1971 and have only received siding replacements once since then.

“We’ve been wanting to update the appearance of the buildings and make them more modern for people living there,” Trombley said. 

In Fort Fairfield, the town’s housing authority will use its most recent funding to continue a three-year project of installing new kitchen cabinets, countertops, floors, plumbing systems and LED lights for the 36 apartments at their Borderview Homes, located at 4 Borderview St. The Borderview unit was built in the 1950s and primarily consists of family housing.

Executive director Stacey Michaud said that thus far the Housing Authority has completed repairs for 12 kitchens and hopes to finish at least 12 more with this year’s funding. 

“The tenants who have gotten their kitchens repaired so far have loved getting a new kitchen,” Michaud. “It makes the kitchens much more bright, modern and cozy.”

The Van Buren Housing Authority intends to move into phase two of installing new siding for the buildings that are part of the Acadia Heights unit. Executive director Steve Lapierre said that the three-year project has already seen siding for 25 of the buildings, and that current funding will allow for installations at nine more of the 50 housing units.

Acadia Heights units were built in 1952 and last received new siding at least 20 years ago, according to Lapierre.

“We depend solely on HUD funding for these projects and we take a lot of pride in being able to keep our units in good condition for tenants,” Lapierre said.