I am writing in response to articles in the May 25 edition addressing the Allegheny County Housing Authority and plans to overhaul the Hays Manor housing complex in McKees Rocks. I’d like to add my two cents on the subject.
The Hays Manor complex currently has 138 units. Over the past year, there have been meetings both open to the public and closed to the public, to discuss the replacement of Hays Manor in McKees Rocks and what that may look like. Through the few meetings that I have attended, I have learned:
Not only is the county planning on replacing the 138 units they will demolish, but it's being suggested to build an additional 102 for a total of 240 units in McKees Rocks.
The original 138 replacement units will not fit at the existing site of Hays Manor. What does this mean? It means that additional property will need to be acquired for the added units they propose to add.
Are you MAD yet?
Well, here is another part of the proposal that is under discussion. Conversations are being held to expand the current footprint of Hays Manor onto 20 acres of railroad property. According to this plan, we will be inundated with additional low-income housing, which is now being referred to as affordable housing.
A little history:
Congress created the “Section 8” Housing Choice Voucher Program in 1974. It was designed to assist families in moving to places to live without the constant threat of violence and so their children could attend good schools.
By tearing down the Hays Manor units and rebuilding in the same community which has a high crime rate, and an underperforming school district, HUD is allowing the housing authority to violate the main principles that Congress created the Section 8 voucher program for and defeats the purpose of the program.
Allegheny County covers 730 square miles and is home to 130 municipalities. There are approximately 58 combined low-income and/or senior high-rises and communities throughout Allegheny County. McKees Rocks has carried much more weight than is reasonable for any community for nearly seven decades.
It’s time we stand up and say NO MORE.
No more broken promises to those our Congress created the housing voucher program to help. You can not continue to push low-income families to live in distressed communities with underperforming schools. It is not lifting people up out of poverty; it is holding people down.
You can not continue to inundate a community with affordable housing and expect a different outcome!
There are no full-service grocery stores, no pharmacy and no family restaurants in McKees Rocks. Where are those 1,000-plus jobs a local developer promised? Shouldn’t these be the services we should be demanding be brought to McKees Rocks?
Are you as angry as I am? What can you do, you ask? Let your voice be heard!
Call each and every one of your elected officials and tell them no more!
Fed up with all the lies, broken agreements, and broken promises,
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