A first meeting has been set for Danville Housing Authority’s new committee whose members will look at the future of public housing.

The group will meet at 4:30 p.m. Monday at the DHA’s administration buil-ding on Clyman Lane.

DHA Executive Director Greg Hilleary said the agenda includes: discussion of the committee members’ perception of housing needs in the community; discussion of whether or not the committee should have the DHA issue a proposal for a community needs assessment; and possible recommendation to proceed with a request for proposals for a needs assessment.

Hilleary would present any committee recommendation to the DHA board of commissioners at its next regular meeting on Thursday to see if there are any objections.

Hilleary said he contacted the Illinois Housing Development Authority and it has about a dozen firms it has approved to do that type of needs assessment work.

A request for proposals wouldn’t cost anything yet, Hilleary pointed out.

Hiring a company would require a board of commissioners’ vote because of the spending of money.

The new committee consists of: former Danville Housing Authority board commissioner Celestine Crockett; alderman and DHA board commissioner Rick Strebing; alderman and DHA board chairman Mike Puhr; former DHA commissioner and board chairman David Fields; East Central Illinois Community Action Agency Chief Executive Officer Dwight Lucas; Crosspoint Human Services Executive Director Thom Pollock; and City Comptroller Gayle Brandon.

The committee will guide the DHA on financing, reviewing site plans of other mixed-rental housing in other cities, define what any new complex should include and review properties in the city where a new complex could be located.

Puhr said he’s expecting general discussions at this first committee meeting.

“Probably what will come out of that meeting is a recommendation for a housing needs analysis,” Puhr said. “Do we need housing? Do we need what we have? What do we need? If we do build or tear down, what do we replace it with?”

He said committee members, such as Lucas and Pollock, have experience with their own housing projects to assist the DHA.

Puhr said along with some ex- and current commissioners, there should be “some good discussion.”

Puhr added that they wanted to wait for the committee to first meet after U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development officials visited here. Committee members could then look at all available options in the process.

He said there will only be about five HOPE VI grants issued in the next round and only up to 19 Choice Neighborhoods grants for redevelopment and planning.

“It’s doubtful we’ll get in on this round,” Puhr said. “We have a lot of planning to get accomplished.”

He said the DHA must work with a developer and start to look at all costs.

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