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Votes

Chatham Square Nears

Resident selection process underway.

In preparation for arrival of the first residents of the public housing portion of the new Chatham Square Development, formerly Samuel Madden Homes (Downtown), the Alexandria Redevelopment and Housing Authority Board of Commissioners unanimously approved the management plan that will govern the 52 units under ARHA's control.

At a special Aug. 11 meeting, the board voted approval of the management plan as well as the management agreement and the residential lease and lease rider for the on-site units. "These are the last documents required to go to HUD," for the area previously known as The Berg, said A. Melvin Miller, chairman, ARHA Board.

"There will also be an orientation session for any families moving into these public housing units. And the fact that the families had the orientation must remain in the files," Miller said.

As stated in a memorandum from William Dearman, executive director, ARHA, to the board, "ARHA's developer is progressing on Chatham Square such that units will soon be available for leasing to public housing eligible residents." Before such leasing ARHA must submit the approved documents to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for their approval.

ARHA WILL SERVE as the managing agent of the public housing portion of the project on behalf of the limited partnership. All administrative costs for the management of the 52 units will accrue to ARHA, according to the approved plan.

Prior to approval of any lease agreements, "a joint inspection of each unit will be conducted by the Agent (ARHA) and the new resident prior to move-in, and a checklist of the Unit's condition will be signed by the Agent and the resident upon occupancy and maintained in the resident's file," according to the plan.

As noted by Miller at the meeting, the plan states, "As residents are accepted for occupancy, the Agent will conduct an orientation session with each family, including dialogue with the family regarding its interests and expectations regarding community life at the Property."

Approximately six of the 52 total public housing units at Chatham Square will be available for occupancy by mid-October, according to Dearman. "We have already started the

interview process to fill those units," he said.

"Former residents that were displaced by the construction will be given first priority to move into the new units. This will be based on proper family size and other considerations," he said. The new accommodations are two and three bedroom units.

Two of the six are also specifically designed to be ADA compliant to meet the needs of disabled individuals. "This will also be taken into consideration during the selection process," Dearman said.

CHATHAM SQUARE, when completed, will consist of 152 housing units. One hundred of those will be available for purchase at market rate. The remaining 52 are ARHA public housing units.

In addition to the public housing units at Chatham Square there will be an addition 48 units at three off-site locations now known as Braddock Whiting Reynolds Apartments. Construction at those sites has not yet started.