HUD awards funds to Naugatuck Housing Authority

NAUGATUCK — The Naugatuck Housing Authority received $140,518 from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development last week to make improvements to its public housing units.

The funds were part of more than $23 million awarded by HUD to public housing authorities in the state.

Kevin Knowles, executive director of the Naugatuck Housing Authority, said Naugatuck would use the money to make improvements to federal housing on its five-year capital plan. This year, the housing authority will upgrade the community bathrooms and kitchen at the George B. Lewis II housing complex on Weid Drive and make improvements to the community bathrooms at George B. Lewis I on Osborne Road. The two housing areas also need ongoing improvements to electrical service and heating, Knowles said.

“We’re going to do our best with what they gave us,” he said. “As properties age, there’s always something that has to be done, so we can always use more money.”

HUD’s Capital Fund Program provides annual funding to all public housing authorities to build, repair, renovate and/or modernize the public housing in their communities. This funding can be used to make large-scale improvements and to make energy-efficient upgrades to replace old plumbing and electrical systems.

“While this funding will certainly help housing authorities address long-standing capital improvements, it only scratches the surface in addressing the deep backlog we’re seeing across the country,” U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan said in a prepared release. “Housing Authorities need nearly $26 billion to keep these homes safe and decent for families, but given our budget realities, we must find other, innovative ways to confront the decline of our public housing stock.”