HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — The City of Harrisburg announced earlier today that they are beginning the process to redevelop and reimagine public housing in South Harrisburg.

The Harrisburg Housing Authority (HHA), alongside the City of Harrisburg’s Department of Building and Housing Development (DBHD) were recently awarded a $500,000 grant from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to redesign and redevelop the Hoverter Homes housing project on 1260 Oyler Road.

The Hoverter Homes is comprised of 233 housing units – all of which would be impacted by the grant funding, according to the City of Harrisburg. Currently, the plan is to eliminate the current World War 2-era barrack-style homes that were erected back in 1941 and create a modern, mixed-income development.

“There’s a lot of improvement we can do for this community, mostly for the kids who are growing up here,” Development and Revitalization Manager for the Harrisburg Housing Authority Johan Soto-Santa said.

According to the City of Harrisburg, the Hoverter Housing complex was chosen to be redeveloped over the adjacent Hall Manor housing complex due to it being older than Hall Manor, and because it is also smaller in size.

For reference, Hall Manor was erected in the 1950s and it has 540 units total – though Hall Manor is not part of this grant, the city and HHA say they plan to include it in future projects.

Back on March 6, City government officials, HHA, and Community leaders met with a Chicago-based urban planning firm called COLLABO to have the first of many tours of the two neighborhoods. According to the principal consultant for COLLABO Adam Ross, they were chosen to consult with this project due to the firm’s experience implementing HUD’s Choice Neighborhoods program.

According to the City of Harrisburg, COLLABO plans to implement the final product for this project based on three elements:

  1. People
    • Focus on support services such as education, health care, job training, and economic development.
  2. Housing
    • Focused on creating mixed-income redevelopment of homes in South Harrisburg.
  3. Neighborhoods
    • Create playgrounds, parks, and open spaces in the neighborhood.

“Because of the age of the property, you feel like you’re walking through a community that was
designed 75 years ago,” Rosa said. “We want to think of this as, how can we re-envision this as a real neighborhood with a mix of different uses and housing types for families?”

According to the City of Harrisburg, from now until the grant expires on Dec. 22, 2024, multiple public meetings will be held to give community members an opportunity to share their thoughts on the future of Hoverter Homes and Hall Manor.

The dates and times for those meetings have yet to be determined.

Once the grant period is completed, the City and Housing Authority will apply with the HUD to implement the redevelopment plan, which will be tens of millions of dollars of the more than $180 million that is available for Choice Neighborhood projects.

Among the projects that are potentially in the works, includes a $10 million water park that will replace the ‘defunct’ Hall Manor swimming pool, which would be funded through the American Rescue Plan – these funds are currently pending allocation by Harrisburg City Council.

abc27 news will keep you updated as more information becomes available.