Work begins to renovate GHURA housing - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Work begins to renovate GHURA housing

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by Michele Catahay

Guam - Construction work to repair and renovate the GHURA housing units in Dededo has begun. In late 2008, families living in the housing units from the Guam Housing and Urban Renewal Authority were forced to move out due to structural issues. Almost two years later, work finally has begun to fix them. 

GHURA Deputy Director Mike Duenas says a contract was awarded in June to cover roof repairs and refurbish the units. These projects are awarded in two phases, of which he said, "[The] total contract is $2.5 million dollars. That's to repair all the roofs and to renovate the units so that we can make them available to our families again."

The first phase will cover 21 units and could be finished by the end of November, while the next one is expected to be completed by next March.

You may recall, families moved out in order for renovations to take place.  "We had to move the families out of those units back in November 2008 because of concrete falling and we were concerned about injuries to residents should a chunk of concrete fall on them," explained Duenas.  "The prudent thing to do was to move them out."

As a result, these families were either relocated to the public housing units or were issued section eight vouchers. Once the project is completed, Duenas says families will have the option to either move back in or stay at their current location.  "They have the option, they will be given the first preference if they choose to return to the neighborhood. It may not necessarily be the unit they were occupying. Over the last few years, you'll see a change in composition so families that were occupying a three bedroom unit may only require a two bedroom unit," said Duenas.

He added that once complete, units will be fully refurbished with new tiles and doors, along with upgrades to electrical and plumbing.

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