HUD Secretary Ben Carson makes a stop in Austin, commends housing authority

At a groundbreaking in Austin, U.S Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson commended the Housing Authority of the City of Austin on their efforts in restoring aging public housing. “Thank you for inviting me to join in on a celebration of this historic milestone, not only for Austin, but for the nation,” said Carson.

The property, Goodrich Place, used to be the site of an aging public housing complex. Now, it has become one of the many public housing complexes that will be updated, and converted using federal funds from a program called Rental Assistance Demonstration.

“The RAD program has preserved 100,000 public housing units across the nation and Austin is the place that has taken us over that mark,” said Carson.

“The 40 families who lived here at Goodrich faced challenging conditions. The property was maintained but it was built in the early 70's without central air conditioning, and you can imagine what that's like on a day like this, and it's the end of September. There were no dryer connections, just clotheslines,” said Michael Gerber, President and CEO of Housing Authority of the City of Austin.

But officials don't want to stop here. They want to continue to restore as many public housing units across the country as possible. “It's a spectacular accomplishment and it comes at a time in our history and your city's history when affordable housing has never been more important,” said Carson.

Authorities say the improvements made at Goodrich and other properties will provide better quality of life, and give residents a place they will be proud to call home. The new name for the property will be Pathways at Goodrich, and will reopen next year. Former residents will be allowed to return.