Public housing agency receives a nice surprise from the Feds

hud grantBy Charles Sercombe

The Hamtramck Housing Commission received the kind of surprise most of us would die for.

In a routine review of its financial holdings, the commission discovered it had an extra $1 million. Turns out it came from the federal government’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Thanks to the government’s largess, the commission was able to jump on several improvement projects ahead of time – projects that require hiring contractors and laborers.

The Recovery Act’s goal is to get more Americans working and earning a living.

There are several projects underway or that have just been completed at the Col. Hamtramck apartments and at the Senior Plaza. At the Col. Hamtramck apartments, all of the kitchen cabinets were swapped out with new ones. The old ones – get this — had a thick coating of pesticide from years of spraying for bugs.


Replacing the cabinets cost $500,000.

Security cameras also will be going up, which is something Executive Director Kevin Kondrat – who is a retired Hamtramck police detective – is excited about. The public housing complex has had its share of problems in the past.
The cameras will allow Kondrat to review what happens during the night.

“We’ll definitely be looking at that,” he said.

So, for all of you criminal types, consider this a warning. If you are caught on tape doing something, well, criminal, you can count on be visited by the police and if you live in the complex you and your family can be kicked out.

At the Senior Plaza, the parking lot is being ripped out and will be repaved. The front entrance will also get a design redo with the addition of a European-style patio. That will allow more residents to sit outside and enjoy the sunshine and some coffee, perhaps, while they watch the street activity – a Hamtramck tradition for sure.

Note to Café 1923: You might want to set up a coffee bar here.

Residents there also received new security switches in their apartments.

2 Responses to Public housing agency receives a nice surprise from the Feds

  1. Tina May

    April 24, 2010 at 11:36 am

    I am so encouraged by the improvements. I grew up in Hamtramck and when I visit there I am flooded with memories of all of us sitting on porches and steps or just hangin’ in the streets talking and watching the activity. People don’t do this kind of social activity anymore. It’s nice to see Hamtramck still hanging on to this tradition!

  2. roger

    April 26, 2010 at 2:13 pm

    My infinite wisdom crystal ball says that not only shoud they setup a coffee shop in the plaza but have it open after dark since it will be in a more secure position and, to the security people, I’ve heard too many stories about weaknesses in systems like that I suggest wrapping the cameras in a steel cage to keep daring vandals from just destroying it. trust me the minimal cost will be worth it.

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