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SPECTER AND HUD OFFICIALS HOLD MEETING TOMORROW ON THE FUTURE OF THE DILAPIDATED, CRIME-RIDDEN SOUTHWARK HOUSING PROJECT

 SPECTER AND HUD OFFICIALS HOLD MEETING TOMORROW ON THE FUTURE OF
 THE DILAPIDATED, CRIME-RIDDEN SOUTHWARK HOUSING PROJECT
 U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) and officials of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will convene a public meeting tomorrow, April 4, to listen to residents' and neighbors' views on what should be done with the badly deteriorated and crime-ridden Southwark Housing Project.
 The meeting will take place at 11 a.m. in the Southwark Plaza Community Building, 4th Street and Washington Avenue in South Philadelphia.
 Specter, Joseph Schiff, HUD assistant secretary for public housing, and Michael A. Smerconish, HUD regional director, will hear from residents of the project and other residents in the area. Also present will be Rebecca Washington, president of the Southwark Residents Council.
 Other community leaders and state and federal officials have been invited to the meeting.
 HUD recently assumed control of renovation and modernization of the project.
 Specter said there are two principal views on how HUD should handle the project's future. Non-residents of the project who live in the area would like to see it converted into homes for the elderly. They complain that the three high-rise Southwark towers, one of which is totally empty and second of which is about 60 percent vacant, are crime- infested and a physical danger to the entire area, and that the current residents should be moved to scattered-site vacant houses all over the city.
 The residents counter that many seeking these dwellings are on lists ahead of them and that they fear they will be evicted and then have no decent place to go.
 "The current living conditions at Southwark are very bad and HUD is anxious to attack this problem," said Specter, "but just what the best course of action for its future has not been determined. We are hopeful that this meeting will help to solve this problem."
 CONTACT: Dan McKenna or Susan Lamontagne of Sen. Arlen Specter's office, 202-224-9020.
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CO: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development ST: Pennsylvania IN: SU:

KA-MK -- PH011 -- 4769 04/03/92 10:26 EST
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Date:Apr 3, 1992
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