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      Focus groups discuss public housing

      The Columbia Housing Authority has a long list of applicants and a short list of available units.

      People in Columbia have a chance to speak out on the future on public housing in their community during a focus group discussion tonight.

      Columbiaâ??s Community Development Department is hosting several focus groups on how to spend federal dollars on affordable housing, the homeless and neighborhood needs.

      Information from tonightâ??s discussion will help city leaders write a 5-year spending plan.

      The Columbia Housing Authority has a long list of applicants and a short list of available units.

      CHA Director Phil Steinhaus said, â??We have needs to develop new affordable housing for low-income working families, but to also preserve our existing older public housing and how to renovate that so that it lasts another 50 years.â??

      The focus group begins at 6:30 p.m. at Oak Towers on North Garth Avenue.

      Several more discussions are scheduled between now and the end of March.

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