LUMBERTON — The Housing Authority of the City of Lumberton has received a $1 million grant to renovate Mohr Plaza, which houses seniors and people with disabilities.
The grant is from the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco and Bank of America. According to a statement from Bank of America, out of 85 projects funded, the Mohr Plaza project is the only one in North Carolina.
Work is expected to begin in 2017.
Mohr Plaza, located at the intersection Martin Luther King Jr. Drive and Second Street in Lumberton, has 100 units. According to property tax records, the 75,000-square-foot building was built in 1976 as a nursing home.
Larry Russell, director of the city’s Housing Authority, said the agency hopes to make improvements to the building’s plumbing, cabinetry, elevator and windows, with an emphasis on making the building more energy-efficient, but the scope of the work will depend on how much money the Housing Authority can ultimately secure for the project. He said the goal is to get $2 million in funding and also make improvements to other housing authority apartments in the city.
The project is funded through the Federal Home Loan Bank’s Affordable Housing Program. The bank since 1990 has set aside 10 percent of its annual earnings for the program, awarding more than $880 million toward 120,000 very low, low and moderate income housing, the statement says. Funded projects cover a wide range of strategies and solutions, from historic preservation and adaptive reuse to new construction and rehabilitation.
Russell said the project is part of a larger, probably 10-year plan to improve all 12 of the housing authority’s developments. Mohr Plaza, he said, is “the starting point.”
“There is a need to take a look at all of our communities,” he said. “We’re looking at what funds are currently available.”