The water crisis in Flint has forced local housing authorities to act. And, in a story for Affordable Housing Finance, Christine Serlin details the steps that both the Flint Housing Commission and the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA), the allocator of low-income housing tax credits and other financing for affordable housing as well as the state public housing authority, are taking.
According to the Flint Housing Commission, which owns 1,186 public housing units and has almost 600 housing choice voucher units in the city, all of its households have been affected by the water emergency.
“We are in the process of testing all of the public housing units to see if there are complexes that have higher lead levels, but we do not recommend drinking or cooking with city water until the problem is solved,” says Candace Gawne, modernization director of the Flint Housing Commission.
All city residents have been advised to use filters on their kitchen faucets. According to Gawne, the commission has acquired and installed filters on all occupied public housing units, and the public housing maintenance crews will replace them if they break. The commission has also sent letters to all of its voucher residents that filters are available, and the housing choice voucher inspector carries filters and replacements with him to give to residents who are found without them during inspections.