Public Housing:

Proposed Sale of the Allen Parkway Village Project in Houston, Texas

RCED-86-160: Published: Sep 16, 1986. Publicly Released: Oct 16, 1986.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the application that the Housing Authority of Houston, Texas (HACH), submitted to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to demolish and dispose of its Allen Parkway Village project to determine: (1) how HACH ensured that its application met federal requirements, including how it supplemented its original application and whether it had a plan for replacing the project's units; (2) whether HACH meaningfully consulted the project's tenants; and (3) the basis for the HACH estimate that project rehabilitation would cost about $30 million.

GAO noted that, in its original application, HACH concentrated almost entirely on the demolition aspects of its plan, but included a statement that it anticipated sending HUD a request to sell the project. Its revised application stated that: (1) it would provide 1,000 replacement units in smaller projects, including up to 400 units for the elderly on or near the project site; (2) there were 19,000 foreclosed multifamily units in Houston suitable for low-income housing which it could consider for use; and (3) it was compiling a list of suitable sites that were on the market as locations for new housing. GAO noted that, in 1983 and 1984, HACH used several avenues to consult with tenants, the tenant council, and the community on its proposal to demolish the project and sell the land, and received feedback and comments in several forms. GAO also found that in developing: (1) the $30 million estimate, HACH staff and a consulting developer used HUD minimum property standards and Houston's building codes as a basis for establishing work standards; and (2) specific cost estimates, the team utilized HUD modernization cost guidelines, several industry cost handbooks, and the team's knowledge of construction costs in Houston.

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