Move-in dates will vary for Peck’s Beach Village residents

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Cindy Nevitt / The 10 odd-numbered units from 401 to 419 at Peck’s BeachVillage are the likeliest to be ready for occupants, perhaps as early as next week. Cindy Nevitt / The 10 odd-numbered units from 401 to 419 at Peck’s BeachVillage are the likeliest to be ready for occupants, perhaps as early as next week.

OCEAN CITY – While Nicholas Thompson shares the eagerness of many in seeing the residents of Peck’s Beach Village return to their homes, he said it’s unlikely that residents will be able to return by the end of this week.

“Let me put it this way: Feb. 1 is very far-fetched,” he said Tuesday, Jan. 29, of a target date for the residents of the 60 federally subsidized housing units to return, citing such unfinished business as renovations, certificates of occupancy, recertification of residents’ income and other procedures mandated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Thompson, who has served for eight years as executive director of the Ocean City Housing Authority, said the likeliest units to be completed and ready for occupancy are the 10 odd-numbered units from 401 to 419.

“There are 60 units, all in different states of repair,” Thompson said, adding that because work began first on units 401 to 419, they are the closest to completion. “Some units are more than a month away, and some units are very close.”

The residents of Peck’s Beach Village have been displaced for three months, forced out of their homes since Oct. 29, 2012, by the 18 to 24 inches of water that surged through the housing development when Hurricane Sandy swept ashore. Electrical systems, flooring, drywall and other materials were damaged and needed to be replaced before the units could be occupied again.

Tuesday afternoon, workers from the maintenance company Castlekeep were on the scene in the 400 block of West Avenue, mopping floors in preparation for the installation of new kitchen appliances in units 401 through 409.

Peck’s Beach Village consists of 40 two-story family units – 26 two-bedroom, 12 three-bedroom and two four-bedroom – plus 20 one-bedroom units for senior and disabled residents. The housing authority also is responsible for 61 low-income units at Bay View Manor at 635 West Ave., for a total of 121 units.

Thompson said the units, dedicated in 1964, “will be put back pretty much as they were.” The two-story units with bedrooms on the second floor are getting new living rooms and kitchens; one-story senior units are getting new living rooms, kitchens, bathrooms and bedrooms.

In addition to needing COs from the city in order to allow residents to return to their homes, Thompson said the units must be restored to HUD’s inventory. They were removed from HUD’s inventory when the storm rendered them uninhabitable. Thompson also must determine the tenants’ employment status in order to set their rent payments, as rent is the only financial support the complex receives other than HUD funds.

“We have to know what their current income is,” Thompson said. “It can change from month to month. Maybe they’re unemployed at this time. Maybe they worked on the boardwalk and are out of a job. They have to be recertified.”

That process, he said, has not been started.  

Although Peck’s Beach Village is a federally subsidized housing development, the city of Ocean City has funded the renovations in order to get repairs started. The city hopes to be reimbursed by FEMA for its costs, estimated at $1.5 million by the original contractor when the renovation project began Nov. 5.

“The city jumped in to help these people, the reason being we had no money in our bank account,” Thompson said. “Otherwise, these units would have been sitting here all this time. The mayor and I both agree on our main objective: To get these people back in ASAP.”

Cindy Nevitt / New kitchen equipment, still in boxes in Unit 407, will be installed on the first floor of all the two-story housing units. Cindy Nevitt / New kitchen equipment, still in boxes in Unit 407, will be installed on the first floor of all the two-story housing units.


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