Housing Authority CEO provides update on Hahn Village plan

November 28, 2018

The Aiken Housing Authority is proceeding with its plan to demolish Hahn Village and redevelop its property, which is just north of downtown off Laurens Street.

But the process of tearing down the buildings in the public housing community probably won’t begin before 2020.

Aiken Housing Authority CEO Chanosha Lawton provided that information about the future of Hahn Village during the Rotary Club of Aiken’s meeting at Newberry Hall on Monday.

She also discussed Hahn Village further during a telephone interview Tuesday.

The next step for the Housing Authority involves getting permission from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, or HUD.

“We are currently working to complete that application,” Lawton said. “It has to be approved by our Board of Commissioners first, and we hope to submit it to HUD by the end of January 2019.”

The Housing Authority doesn’t want to construct another public housing community on the land to replace Hahn Village.

Instead, the agency would like to “potentially partner” with an investor to construct “a multi-family development,” Lawton said.

With public housing locally, the Housing Authority “is actually the owner and it is maintained by” the Housing Authority, Lawton explained.

With a multi-family development, “we would go with a private investor or maybe do it through a nonprofit entity,” Lawton said. “The Aiken Housing Authority wouldn’t necessarily been the owner. If they (residents) received any type of project-based vouchers, we would oversee the voucher program, but we wouldn’t be the owner of the actual facility.”

The multifamily development might consist of townhomes or single-family homes, Lawton said.

If HUD approves the Housing Authority’s proposal for Hahn Village, it would be at least a year from that point before the start of demolition “because we have to relocate 100 families,” Lawton said.

This past March, former Housing Authority CEO Reggie Barner announced the plan to demolish Hahn Village during an Aiken City Council work session.

Hahn Village’s first residents moved there in 1979.

HUD’s public housing program provides rental housing for families with low incomes, the elderly and people with disabilities. According to HUD, there are approximately 1.2 million households living in public housing units in this country.

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