Housing authority to bring facelift to public housing

Housing authority to bring facelift to public housing
Monday, November 18, 2013 - 9:15pm

The Housing Authority of the City of El Paso begins a project to fix the public housing that's riddled with cracks, holes and dangerous asbestos.

"They're going to make more apartments," said longtime public housing resident, Inez De Leon. "They're going to renovate them. A better system, so people can live better".

De Leon lived in old public housing for 38 years and moved into new housing about 6 years ago.

"There's ten thousand families just on the waiting list," said CEO of the Housing Authority of the City of El Paso, Gerald Chichon. "The need is great here".

Through private investments, the HACEP is buying more than 45 public housing sites across the city from the federal government.

"At that point, we can borrow against that in order to revitalize it," Chichon said. "So it's basically, it's like getting a mortgage on your house. Up 'til now we haven't been able to do so, because we didn't own them. We were always just managing them. This is going to allow that change to occur".

As the 14th largest housing authority in the U.S., they're hoping to make life better not only for many deserving families, but they want to improve the overall image of El Paso.

"This is a population that truly is El Paso," Chichon said. "It truly is reflective of the overall community".

"Housing is a place that helps us out a lot and us, as poor people, we only have a limited amount of money for retirement," De Leon said.

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