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How Should The Peoria Housing Authority Spend In 2022? You Have One Week To Submit Your Feedback

taft exterior.jpg
Hannah Alani
Direna Gardner has lived in apartment 314 at Taft Homes, 231 Hancock St., since Oct. 2019.

Every year the Peoria Housing Authority is required to update the Department of Housing and Urban Development on its plans for the following year — but before the 2022 plan is sent to Washington, D.C., the Housing Authority must solicit public input and feedback.

The public comment period for the 2022 plan ends next Tuesday.

Public comment is being collected via written statements. However, there will be multiple opportunities to address the Housing Authority directly this week.

A series of public feedback meetings will be conducted at three locations. The meetings will also be accessible via Zoom.

Here's the schedule:

  • 2 p.m. Tuesday: Sterling Towers, 2601 W. Reservoir Blvd. (Zoom ID: 84435276691)
  • 4:30 p.m. Tuesday: Peoria Housing Authority, 100 S. Richard Pryor Pl., (Zoom ID: 86420349740)
  • 3:30 p.m. Thursday: Harrison Homes, 2601-2799 Roosevelt Pl. (Zoom ID: 82618637771)

It's unclear whether copies of the 2022 plan will be made public before this week's meetings. As of Monday, the Peoria Housing Authority has yet to post a copy of its draft of the 2022 plan online.
WCBU obtained a virtual copy of a 138-page draft on Friday and uploaded it via Scribd and via NPR.

View the plan in full here.

The plan includes proposed dollar amounts for various budgetary items, notes on strategic planning, a detailed copy of the 2020 fiscal audit and more.

For example, in describing the Taft Homes redevelopment on page 35, the Housing Authority states financial closing is expected to take place this month.

The redevelopment of Taft Homes was a major topic of discussion during public comment at last week's Housing Authority board meeting.

Peoria Housing Authority Board Responds To Taft Homes Concerns During Board Meeting

About the 2022 plan

Since 1998, public housing agencies have been required to create annual and five-year plans.

The five-year plan must outline an agency's mission, long-range goals, approach to managing problems and plans for providing services in the upcoming year.

The annual plan serves as an agency's annual application for federal grants to support buildings (the Capital Fund Program) and safety (the Public Housing Drug Elimination program.)

The Department of Housing and Urban Development requires that before local agencies submit their annual and five-year plans, they must first solicit public feedback over a 45-day period.

This year's public comment period began Aug. 7 and will end Sept. 21.

A public notice posted to the Peoria Housing Authority's website asks members of the public to physically come to the authority's headquarters to review a copy of the plan.

Last month a WCBU reporter went to the Housing Authority's headquarters, 100 S. Richard Pryor Pl., to pick up a copy of the plan. The reporter was told the plan must be emailed as the file size was so large that, if printed, the reporter would incur a printing fee.

WCBU obtained a copy of the plan via email the following week.

The plan is not complete until public comment is collected, Peoria Housing Authority Executive Assistant Amy Pollitt said in the email.

"This plan is a draft only and will not be considered complete until after public meetings are held and the board and city review and approve the portions of this as indicated in the plan," she said.

Those who are unable to attend this week's meetings can submit written feedback, which should be mailed to the following address:

ATTN: Melissa Huffstedtler
100 S. Richard Pryor Place
Peoria, IL

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Hannah Alani is a reporter at WCBU. She joined the newsroom in 2021. She can be reached at hmalani@ilstu.edu.