LORAIN — The Lorain Metropolitan Housing Authority will install security cameras and new lighting at its Lakeview Plaza property thanks to the federal government.
At a Thursday news conference, the agency announced the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development will be giving the agency a $250,000 grant to improve safety for the residents at the property on West 7th Street.
Housing Authority Executive Director Homer Virden said the improvements would bring cameras in to several areas throughout the property including the parking lot, stairwells, laundry rooms and hallways.
Mayor Chase Ritenauer said he believes the agency’s leadership is a major reason it was one of only 22 housing authorities across the country and the only one in Ohio to win HUD’s Capital Fund Emergency Safety and Security Program.
“It really is a partnership when it comes to safety,” he said. “These types of grants augment all of our efforts to provide a safer environment to those who live here and the surrounding areas. It’s really important that we protect the surrounding area, and I think this grant allows us to do that.”
Lorain police Capt. Roger Watkins said with the police department as one of the layers involved with security in the building, the agency receiving the grant made him feel it is really going above and beyond to make sure the residents have a safe place to live.
“I’ve worked here on and off for the last 19 or 20 years, and I think this grant makes me feel a little better personally because this is augmenting security in a place where I’ve built friendships over the years,” he said.
HUD Cleveland Field Office Director Pamela Ashby said $5 million was granted from the fund, which is dedicated to emergency safety and security in public housing authorities, and the selection process was a rigorous one so Lorain should be proud.
“These funds are going to be used to address emergency safety and security needs by providing the purchase of security cameras and lighting at Lakeview Plaza,” she said. “These types of improvements go a long way to improve and positively impact the residents. Funding is very limited and competitive.”
Ashby said “homes are a refuge and a safe haven” for people and they should feel secure.
“Everyone should feel safe and secure when they’re at home, and this funding will empower our partners will additional resources to enhance the vitality of their neighborhoods,” she said.