WORCESTER, Mass. – The Worcester Housing Authority is seeking federal funding for its complete redevelopment of the Lakeside Apartments complex.

The project is expected to cost at least $260 million, and the WHA has sent funding applications to the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The complex currently has 202 units. Proposed changes include increasing the capacity to 328 affordable units, while also having 28 home ownership units.

WHA CEO Alex Corrales said as of now, construction wouldn't start for at least another 18 months. The WHA says their units are 99% occupied and a solution needs to be found to develop more affordable housing.

"Our long-term strategy is to look at our own properties, our own pieces of land, and say what opportunities can we do to not only redevelop, but how do we also add to that in a way that we can increase the number of affordable units?” Corrales said. “We're doing that at Curtis, we're going to do it here at Lakeside, and certainly we want to look at some of our other properties to continue that motto and let the city know that we're a development partner here.

“We're here to assist and this is our forte. We're in the business of affordable housing, not market rate units, and so that's our niche and we want to make sure we take advantage of that."

The Lakeside Apartments were built in 1949 and they WHA says the complex can no longer provide adequate amenities for residents, including handicap accessibility.

Corrales said the new complex would take between six and nine years to complete.