Phenix City residents could be displaced as housing authority builds new apartment complexes

Phenix City residents could be displaced as housing authority builds new apartment complexes

PHENIX CITY, Ala. (WTVM) - A number of people will be displaced from their apartments after a multi-million dollar plan from the Phenix City Housing Authority (PCHA) to rebuild and revitalize communities.

“Either way it goes, it’ll be alright,” says Barbara Holmes.

Holmes says she’s lived at the Frederick Douglass Homes for as long as she can remember. Her, along with others say it’s a true feeling of home.

“I’ve been staying over here since I was young. I got it tattooed on my arm,” says Tre Miller.

They say it’ll be tough to see changes come to the apartments after the (PCHA) announced new apartments will be built in its place in an effort to revitalize the community.

“I think it’ll be a good thing though. It’ll look better and probably change the environment,” says Miller.

“This will allow us to take some families, about 72, and relocate them to a new property,” explains Mary Mayrose with PCHA.

She says there are 272 units in the Frederick Douglass Homes. The housing authority has been awarded $1.2 million in low income tax credits over the next 10 years from the Alabama Housing Finance Authority. This comes after two other tax credit awards to total all three grants at $37 million dollars. The money will go toward beginning the Frederick Douglass revitalization project as well as continuing construction at Riverview Apartments, which will soon be Hidden Village.

Since rolling out its Master Plan in 2015, PCHA has not only seen the start of two tax credit projects – Hidden Hills Trace and Whitewater Village – in the Riverview Courts community, but it has also secured a 2018 Choice Neighborhoods Initiative (CNI) Planning Grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Liberty Hill at Homage Park will be PCHA’s third affordable housing site to be developed using highly competitive, nine percent tax credits, adding another 72 constructed units to its housing portfolio. Consisting of one, two, and three-bedroom apartments, this first phase will be constructed off-site and located in the 1700 block of 20th Avenue.

“To date, we’ve constructed 166 new homes for the residents of Phenix City and Liberty Hill will allow us to provide so much more. Our successful partnership with Hollyhand Development and the City of Phenix City, is changing the face of affordable housing in this community,” says Mayrose.

The Whitewater Village development is expected to be complete by December 2019. The Frederick Douglass project is expected to begin in roughly nine months. Hidden Hills Trace is complete and they are now filling units.

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