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Malden's Linden Homes gets $2m federal stimulus

Posted by Alix Roy  March 24, 2010 10:04 AM

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Linden Homes residents will enjoy improvements to the complex and lowered utility costs thanks to some careful reading by Malden Housing Authority executive director Stephen Finn, who spearheaded a plan to federalize the public housing facility, making it eligible for millions in stimulus funds.

The federalization of the Linden Homes complex, which is located at the intersection of routes 60 and 99, was announced last week by city and state officials. The complex, which contains 220 units, was formerly subsidized by the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development.

The city's efforts to federalize the complex began after Finn noticed a clause in the federal stimulus bill authorizing public housing authorities to use federal funding to “construct or acquire” new federal units. The clause appeared to circumvent a Congressional act limiting the number of federally assisted properties an agency maintains in their portfolio.
 
Finn submitted an application for Linden Homes last April and worked closely with the state and federal Department of Housing and Urban Development to get it approved. Last week, Senator Richard Tisei praised Finn for his hard work in securing much-needed capital funding for the 1950s complex.
 
“Because of the vision of Executive Director Finn, the Linden Homes neighborhood will remain a model of what public housing can be,” Tisei said in a statement.

Linden Homes residents will soon enjoy capital improvements paid for with $2 million in federal stimulus funds made available by the shift. A scope of work has already been submitted for a series of projects including drainage improvements, accessibility upgrades, updated bathrooms and kitchens, new basement windows and revamped electrical and ventilation systems. The state has also committed $1 million for the renovation, which should be completed by next February, Finn said.

Residents should also see a cost savings in their rent and utility costs, which will be calculated according to the federal leasing rules beginning next year, Finn said.

Overall, Finn is pleased with the success of the application – the first of its kind submitted in the country – but refused to take full credit.

“It could have died on the vine if folks hadn't played their part,” he said. “It's kind of remarkable that it did happen.”

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