Residents of Holyoke's Lyman Terrace rallied together Wednesday night in support of state funding for a roughly $30 million dollar renovation project of the housing complex.
“I am a member of this community and I do care for the place and how it looks," said resident Iris Nieves.
The 18 buildings that make up the site were built back in 1942 and are operated by the Holyoke Housing Authority.
"We've been working on redevelopment down here on Lyman Terrace for about 6 or 7 years," said Matthew Mainville, Executive Director of Holyoke Housing Authority.
He said the project would be a complete overhaul of the 167 units that sit in the complex. The authority would lower the number of units to 156 and make them bigger than they are now.
"It will be pretty much a gut rehab. We will also be putting on additional "bump-outs" we're calling them, to increase the square footage of the units and to bring them up to the most recent codes," explained Mainville.
The authority has applied for government funded tax credits and grants, but has yet to be approved for them. And work cannot begin until that happens.
Which is why residents gathered to reach out to their local and state representatives by phone to express the importance of renovating the buildings.
"It is very important. A lot of people that live here, they don't have a lot of money and housing is giving us a decent place to live,” said Nieves.
“I just want the people of the project to realize what we go through, to step into our shoes, and to approve of this to give us a safe place to live,” she continued.
Mainville said he is confident the city will receive the approval.
"It's very much a competitive process, but we've put forth a very strong, thought out application that the DHD will look at very positively," said Mainville.
The Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development told Western Mass News, the project still remains under review.
Mainville said he would likely know by September whether or not the city will be approved.
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