Texarkana City Council proposes public housing changes

Council proposes changes to public housing in Texarkana, TX

TEXARKANA, TX (KSLA) - The Texarkana Texas City Council is taking action to help improve public housing in the city.

The council approved the City's Housing Authority to apply for tax credits that could take away some control of the federal government in Texarkana.

"The game plan is to move from public housing as we now know it," said Antonio Williams, Chief Executive Officer with Texarkana Housing Authority.

Leaders with the housing authority are excited about the prospect of making a complete overhaul of the public housing program in the city.

They are seeking $20 million from the private sector to make the improvements.

"Our plans are to transition the remaining ones of our units from public housing to housing choice voucher platform which would provide us the opportunity to modernize our units," said Williams.

Williams said the financing for the project is made possible by the Department of Urban Development Program.

"It allows housing authorities to limit its assets from the public housing program and to get the deeds and to leverage those assets and to get some additional financing with other entities and tax credits to modernize their community," said Williams.

Nearly 300 units will be upgraded including those at Robinson Terrace.

"It really needs to be upgraded. A lot of things need to be changed," said Texarkana Housing Authority tenant Jerry Jackson. "This is an old building. This is a historical building and it needs to be upgraded. I welcome the change, I really do. I wish they would start tomorrow. "

The city says there are a few more hurdles to overcome before the money is available for the upgrades.

They are hoping work will begin later this year.

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