Housing Authority of Columbus approves BTW relocation plan - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Housing Authority of Columbus approves BTW relocation plan

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COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

Residents in the Booker T. Washington housing complex on Veterans Parkway in Columbus have a mixed bag of reactions about their future living options.

"It shouldn't be a restriction at all. Everybody should have an opportunity to get an apartment, just redo it like they did Farley Homes or Wilson," said Cheri Thompson, a resident of BTW since 2009.

Thompson doesn't like the fact that 100 tenants -based on their age- will be relocated to south Columbus where Chapman Homes are all boarded up now. The property will be torn down and replaced with new units on Fort Benning Road.

But Thompson's neighbor Jarome Harrow is ready for that move. He says he meets the age requirement of 55 or older for the offsite location.

"I'm in that number…I'll be 62 in October," Harrow said. "I'll be glad to get back to the south side. I don't like it down here. They had a drive-by right down the street here; I heard all the shots of all the people who've gotten killed."

We also spoke to two other residents who didn't want to go on camera. They told us they are for this plan but for no other reason than their safety. 

"We don't even take our kids outside because we're afraid of getting shot," they said.

The unidentified BTW tenants are younger than 55 and are hoping not to be among the 200 tenants who will remain in the new apartments slated to be built in 2016 after the exiting units are demolished.

Nearly 100 residents will get vouchers to choose from the other public housing sites in the city.

Senator Ed Harbison said he thinks the new revitalization plan is a good one.

"It reaches out to everybody and considers everybody's point of view," Harbison said. 

The $32 million project will be split into two phases: the Chapman Homes property is first with construction set to start at the end of this year.  

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