Sarasota Housing Authority Resident's Association

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Comments Needed for Redevelopment RFP


Valerie Buchand received last Friday the draft RFP (Request for proposal) which will be sent to the five candidates for the developer of the mixed income public housing properties. The Sarasota Housing Authority wants to send out this RFP this Friday. The committee of seven (which includes two public housing residents - one is Valerie Buchand) met Monday to discuss the proposal. Valerie was advised she had until tomorrow, Wed, June 14, to submit any comments.

A finalized document would be made available to her Thursday.

In general, the RFP does not mention residents and the developer's responsibilities towards the residents.

Social services need to be in place for them before the first shoveful of dirt is turned. Right of return policy and a Memorandum of Agreement with the residents needs to be included. There is no mention of community centers & parks in the new mixed income communities.

But, first and foremost, the Public Housing Task Force wants 388 family public housing rental units to return.

If senior units (efficiencies) are necessary, then add those on to the number of family units. The RFP currently states that there would be a total of 282 units which would combine family and elder units. On the current Housing Authority waiting lists there are some 300 head of households (translates into over 1,000 people) and only about 30 seniors. McCown Towers is currently devoted to elders and handicapped individuals/all efficiencies.

We would like to the see the developer encouraged to design for more public housing units. At the Newtown Community meeting, residents indicated they would be fine with more height and more density. 20 units per acre would not be unreasonable. Janie Poe has 10 units per acre presently and there is space to spare. A local leading developer, who looked over the plans sketched out by the consultant, said that elevators are not that expensive and water storage can easily be retained in underground vaults to provide more building space.

When Valerie receives the final version, we will send out a press release from the Task Force if most of these concerns are not addressed.

Call Valerie at 544-3262 for an electronic version of the RFP and/or to make any comments for her submittal.

Time is of the essence.

Thank you!

Jude Levy


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