HUD has initiated foreclosure proceedings against the currentowners, according to the department of housing, and officials fromthe federal department hope to begin disposing of the properties inAugust, city officials say. The city is looking for developers withrehab, affordable housing and property management experience.Besides putting the properties into the hands of several newowners, the department of housing envisions some of the one- tofour-unit properties converted to owner-occupied units.

"It is our belief that this development, as a single entity, istoo large and needs to be divided into smaller units so it can bemore effectively managed and that is what we hope to achieve withthis development plan," says housing commissioner John G.Markowski. "By acting now, the City will identify who its partnerswill be as a strategy is worked out to preserve this as affordablehousing."

The 1,240-unit Lawndale Restoration was built in five phases,with a mix of properties ranging from two- to four-flats up tocorner multifamily buildings. HUD provides project-based HousingChoice Voucher assistance to tenants. The 96 buildings arescattered in an area bounded by Madison and 19th streets, Kostnerand Albany avenues. Inspections done by HUD earlier this yearestimate the cost of repairs at $44.8 million, which breaks down to$44,333 per unit and $36 per sf. As a result, department of housingofficials expect to sell properties for $1 each.

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