LaGrange Housing Authority building affordable duplexes in thriving neighborhood

Published: Aug. 14, 2021 at 3:57 PM EDT
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LAGRANGE, Ga. (WTVM) - In an effort to curve poverty and give people hope, officials in LaGrange are working on a housing project that will put public housing homes in a neighborhood that’s already thriving.

“That’s going to be people with kids, dogs and cats - we don’t want it. That’s going to be another bother. Now noise and we don’t need that at this age,” said Louise Kirby, who’s been living in LaGrange for nine years.

Kirby says she was shocked to hear about the new housing project being built just a few feet away from her backyard. That project, on Jordan’s Way, will be called Phoenix Crossing. Officials will build 12 duplexes, a walking trail and a public community center. But senior residents like Kirby are worried about the cost of this housing project.

“What about the price of the rent? Is it going to affect us because our rent keeps going up here and we’re living on social security,” asked Kirby.

The CEO of the LaGrange Housing Authority, Zsa Zsa Heard says the project is about more than money. With many low-income residents living in rough parts of the city, Heard says her staff wants to change that.

“The staff said well let’s put public housing in a community where we can have all these mixed opportunities for residents,” said Heard.

One of the biggest opportunities is living closer to grocery stores and other important businesses.

“One thing that we love that’s there, they’ll be able to walk to a lot of things because they’re close. There’s a post office, there’s doctor offices, there’s one of those Walmarts, the mini markets that they have they could walk to,” said Heard.

While some neighbors still don’t think the project is a good idea, Heard says the goal is to bring the community together and provide opportunities for everyone.

“We want them to be healthy. We want them to thrive so they’ll be able to actually do these things and walk or drive...whatever they actually choose to do,” said Heard.

Heard also says there is already a waiting list of people expected to move into those new duplexes when they’re finished being built sometime in 2022.

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