County to relocate Mt. Washington polls

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Allegheny County officials had planned to move one of their polling places next month to a public housing complex in Mount Washington but are now seeking new locations after community complaints about the complex.

Polling for about 1,000 nearby residents was formerly hosted at St. Justin Church on Lelia Street, but when the church closed county officials scouted the Just-Inn Transition apartments next door, in the church’s former high school, as a replacement site. The apartments afforded disabled access, parking and large areas to accommodate voters in the Nov. 5 election.

But neighbors of the apartment complex — which provides publicly subsidized housing for seniors and the mentally and physically disabled — have lately complained that it has become a magnet for criminal activity. In response the county is looking for new places to vote.

“We are in the process of identifying possible alternate sites but believe that the precincts may need to be split and that the amenities may not be as good as they had been, but will continue to move forward to finalize potential sites prior to the coming election,” said county spokeswoman Amie Downs.

The apartments opened in 1988 as senior housing under the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Several years ago, the building’s population was changed to people who are at least 62 or have physical or mental disabilities.

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