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County shows future affordable housing projects

RAD is also responsible for the repurposing of the Blue Flame Building. KFOX14 reported in late February that the currently vacant building will soon be the home of more than 120 affordable housing units for low-income families.

El Paso County will present the progress and future plans for the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) on Monday. That program creates affordable housing for El Paso families in need in addition to relocating families, if needed.

The Housing Authority of El Paso joined the program about five years ago with hopes of supporting El Paso’s low-income population with safe and affordable housing. It's something that Mohamed Khamsi of West El Paso calls a good move for the Borderland.

“I think there is always a lot of debate of where we put our tax money, but ultimately,” said Khamasi, “I feel like any sort of initiative that helps people get on their feet, have stable homes, and turn back and contribute to the economy is always a good thing.”

Monday’s presentation says that since the program began, El Paso has spent about $740 million, created 1,050 jobs and completed 3,206 conversions.

Khamsi says that’s a large amount of money, but he’s happy with where it’s going, telling KFOX14, “I prefer it to be going to helping people who want to get on their own two feet instead of going to a new sports stadium or something that is not nearly as impactful as something like housing for people who are underserved.

The presentation says, moving forward, there are six communities under construction, 619 homes to be revitalized, around 8,000 families to be moved, and more than 500 jobs to be created.

RAD is also responsible for the repurposing of the Blue Flame Building. KFOX14 reported in late February that the currently vacant building will soon be the home of more than 120 affordable housing units for low-income families.

Khamsi says while change can be dangerous, growth is necessary.

“In some ways you lose a lot of character if you’re not careful,” he said, “But in new ways you want to try to carve new paths and I think that’s very important, especially in a city like El Paso that’s trying to grow.”

RAD’s conversion of the Blue Flame Building is expected to be complete in the fall of 2019.

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