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Housing Authority gets $250K grant to upgrade security

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The Freeport Housing Authority will receive a $250,000 grant to add lighting and improve security at the Rev. John J. Madden and Mitchell Mallette senior housing developments in Freeport, on South Main Street and North Main Street, respectively, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The Freeport Housing Authority is one of 22 public housing authorities to receive HUD grants. Total awards amount to $5.2 million.

“Ninety-nine percent of public housing authorities are in dire need of security improvements,” said Lynne Patton, HUD’s regional administrator for New York and New Jersey. “This critical funding will help provide peace of mind to the long-suffering residents” of the Madden and Mallette developments.

According to HUD, Capital Fund Emergency Safety and Security Program grants can also be used for the installation, repair or replacement of security systems, surveillance cameras, fencing, lighting, emergency alarms, window bars, deadbolt locks and doors.

“This HUD grant wasn’t easy to get,” FHA Director John Hrvatin said. “But our tenants’ safety has been a concern, and always will be.” The authority applied for a security grant in June. Two months later, Hrvatin said, he was “delighted” to receive it. “HUD recognized we needed to add security for our tenants,” he said.

When the agency receives the funds, Hrvatin said, it will meet with engineers to determine the layout for security cameras. Currently, the Mallette complex, at 100 N. Main St., does not have surveillance cameras, but that will change thanks to the grant.

The Madden complex, at 240, 250 and 260 South Main St., has installed 25 cameras in the past three years. With the new funds, FHA plans to install additional cameras and upgrade the complex’s security system.

The new Moxey Rigsby, a 101-unit public housing complex on Merrick Road near the Meadowbrook Parkway, owned by the FHA, was not included in the grant because a security plan had already been designed for it, and will be put in place once construction of the complex is complete.

The Moxey Rigsby is expected to be completed in the coming months. Hrvatin said that residents at the old complex, at Buffalo Avenue and Merrick Road, will be able to start moving in before Thanksgiving. The move, he said, is contingent on the complex’s receiving a temporary certificate of occupancy from the Nassau County fire marshal and the Village of Freeport.

The FHA also plans to enhance its buildings by installing a smart access entry system or keyless entry for all units. Once the cameras are installed, the FHA’s security plans and surveillance feed will be accessible by the village Police Department.

“Every family deserves to feel safe in their home,” HUD Secretary Ben Carson said. “HUD is determined to ensure the well-being of public housing residents.”