More of Forest Park disappears
By Gordon Dritschilo
Staff Writer | February 12,2013
Anthony Edwards / Staff Photo
The intersection of Forest Street and Hickory Street is shown on Monday afternoon.
The second phase of the Forest Park replacement project is targeted for completion by the end of the year.
Demolition started in December, and as of Monday, foundations had been poured for two of six buildings.
“They should start framing in March,” Rutland Housing Authority executive director Kevin Loso said. “The weather has been cumbersome, but they’re pretty much on schedule for a November or December completion.”
The RHA has been slowly replacing Forest Park with a new development called “Hickory Street Apartments,” named for the newly built Hickory Street, which runs perpendicular to Forest Street.
The development is designed to look more like a neighborhood, with even the larger, multi-unit buildings constructed to look like large houses.
Four buildings totaling 11 units and the old community center and maintenance shed came down and are being replaced by seven new buildings — three duplexes, two six-unit buildings, a community center with five one-bedroom units and a new maintenance shed. The total cost for phase two is roughly $7 million, according to Loso.
Five buildings with a total of 27 units are all that remain of Forest Park. Those will be replaced in phase three.
“At this point, the precise plan is not in place in terms of unit configurations,” Loso said. “We plan to embark on that in the next three years.”
Phase one remains at 100 percent occupancy, Loso said.
“We’ve seen very little turnover,” he said.
Meanwhile, the city’s waiting list for Section 8 housing vouchers is about to open for the first time since July of 2011.
“It’s been open and closed and open and closed a few times,” Loso said. “It depends on the number of vouchers we have available.”
Loso said 76 vouchers will become available March 1 because of a change in the status of the apartments of Regency Manor. Residents there will have priority for the vouchers, he said, but that not all would be eligible, meaning at least some of the 82 families on the waiting list will get a chance to move off it.
Loso said a family typically spends about two years on the waiting list.