Baldwin Housing Commission receives grant for more than $87,000

BALDWIN — Thanks to a federal grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Baldwin Housing Commission plans to update some of its units this spring.

On Aug. 8, HUD announced its annual list of housing authorities which will receive grants under its Capital Fund program. This year, the Baldwin Housing Commission will receive $87,335.

The local housing commission has been receiving federal grants from the program for “quite a few years,” said Sylvia Calas, Baldwin Housing Commission director. Each year, HUD uses a formula to calculate the distribution of funds which it then provides to approximately 3,200 public housing agencies across the county, according to its website. The funds may be used for “development, financing, modernization, and management improvements.”

The Baldwin Housing Commission makes phased improvements to its 86 units as it receives the federal grants each year, Calas said. This year, the commission plans to purchase and install new energy-saving furnaces for some of its units. However, part of the grant could be used for other capital improvements.

“That is my plan (to install new furnaces), but if a roof is ready to leak (we will fix that) — we have a five-year plan and we put in certain items — so this year my plan is to continue on the furnaces but sometimes stuff happens,” Calas said.

The improvements likely will begin in the spring, Calas added.

In all, HUD’s Capital Fund program allocated $1.72 billion in grants across the county, $30 million of which went to 122 housing authorities in Michigan. Reed City Housing Commission received a $95,855 grant, while Big Rapids Housing Commission received a $337,090 grant through the same program.