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We are excited to continue to improve the public housing units across Levy County and feel that most of our residents are happy also, however current rumors can be disheartening and even though I’m trying to take a much needed vacation my office now receive calls complaining about the improvements (some sadly are the residents that live in the housing units) in Cedar Key.
The rumor that it is not legal for us to do the work on our properties is absolutely.... well you complete this sentence! The person(s) that are starting and spreading these allegations should do their homework. Not only are we legal, but the work being done is work that is approved on a five year plan and available for public review and on HUD’s website and has been since 2010. It is work that was part of a grant that was written and approved and awarded. The improvements are designed to continue to improve the quality of life for residents and also assist on cutting down on their utility costs, the job was properly bid, the contract was awarded to a local vendor and even more, the materials are purchased from a Florida vendor and made in America.
The metal roofs will also last longer, and will also fit into the décor of the Island. Ninty-eight-percent of the residents there are so excited about the improvements and we are happy to help.
I think it’s important that those residents (either in public housing or on the Island of Cedar Key) that have this hate for public housing to the point of starting rumors should also note that Levy County Housing Authority receives no funding from the City of Cedar Key, the County of Levy nor the State of Florida. All the funding it receives for these improvements are through competitive grants to the Department of HUD. It should be further noted that the Levy County Housing Authority pays its appropriate taxes to Cedar Key which is known as PILOT payments which are a formula based on the rents it receives. Many municipalities waive this payment in an effort to help the authorities that serves its citizens.
Improvements to the Cedar Key Units are ongoing including work that has been completed, such as: new kitchens, baths, windows, doors, flooring in units, central heating and air, water heaters, appliances, painting of the exterior, insulation etc. We are constantly being cut funding for programs, but continue to look after and maintain our properties and in some cases better than some private owners.
We have an awesome relationship with the police department and have participated in programs to help improve and find ways to bring affordable housing programs that will make it easier for those living on the Island that work there to be able to afford it.
In short, it is so discouraging when one gets the complaints and rumors such as the ones circulating to make efforts outside the norm to help all. Where does it end? Somebody please tell me!
Bob Williams, Executive Director