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State approves preliminary plans for Taft Homes redevelopment project


PEORIA (WEEK) -- The Peoria Housing Authority is one step closer to starting a major overhaul project of Taft Homes.

The PHA's project application was approved last week by the Illinois Housing Development Authority.

PHA CEO Jackie Newman said Tuesday she is "overly optimistic" about the project coming to fruition. She previously said the overall project would cost anywhere from $17 to $20 million, with funding coming from state and local agencies.

In July, Newman said the project is 15 years in the making.

PHA hired Wisconsin-based Bear Development to oversee the project and is working with firm to gather additional resources to ensure completion of the redevelopment.

If approved, Newman said the initial project would begin immediately, but it's unlikely any groundbreaking would take place in 2020.

Occupants of Taft Homes would be moved to other PHA units during redevelopment or given vouchers for residency elsewhere, Newman said.

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