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Covington's City Heights residents get chance to ask questions about community closure

Public housing complex to shut down for hundreds
Posted at 6:25 AM, Oct 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-07 11:49:22-04

COVINGTON, Ky. — Two meetings Thursday will give residents of City Heights a chance to ask questions about where they're going to live when the community is shut down.

Just this week the federal government gave the green light to close the deteriorating public housing complex in Covington.

Officials say it will take about three years to move the roughly 750 people who live there now.

The process to close City Heights has been in the works for two years. Federal officials determined that the 366 apartments are so outdated that they are beyond saving. Estimates for repairs topped $51 million to bring the complex up to "decent standards."

The Housing Authority of Covington now must find homes for the people who live there.

Steve Arlinghaus, the housing authority's executive director, said the moves could occur in Covington, but special tenant protection vouchers give people the ability to move anywhere in the country.

The top question Arlinghaus is getting, he said, is when those vouchers will be available.

He said the city must apply for them first.

"I would say 30 to 60 days before they'll get approval. And once the approval process is given, we don't know exactly a time frame. But maybe 30 days after that, we'll be offered the first opportunity to collect vouchers," he said. "Our plan is to try to hand out 10 vouchers a month over the course of three years."

The process will start with the oldest residents, he said.

"The senior citizens that live there currently," Arlinghaus said. "That would be our first priority."

Arlinghaus added that there is a lot of misinformation about the process circulating in the community.

That's why the housing authority is hosting two meetings today from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. and again from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the City Heights Community Hall on Todd Street.