Some Columbia Residents Disappointed with Housing Authority Meeting
Park Avenue resident Lanetta Hill expected more from the meeting.
"I don't think that they should be torn down because i like it down here. I've met so many new friends and everything and i don't want it to be torn down."
The Columbia Housing Authority wants to demolish the Park Avenue homes and replace them with 28 town homes, 48 multi-family homes and 12 senior homes. The plan also makes room for 16 retail stores and a community center. This $24.8 million plan is more expensive than renovating the homes, but won't cost residents any more money in rent.
"I don't think they realized that they can have something better and come back to it with the same amount of dollars that they went out at," said Task Force Chairman Richard Mendenhall.
But any option would force residents to move out for several months. Some of them worry about how they'll pay for moving and where they'll live in the meantime, such as Park Avenue resident Sharon Avis:
"Are they going to bring us back in there and who's gonna pay the money? Because the majority down there cannot afford to move."
The Housing Authority Task Force chairman says those details will be taken care of when a revitalization plan is selected. He also assures residents they'll be first on the list for moving back into the homes. The task force says demolition will be cheaper than renovations in the long run.
"The neighborhood should be upgraded. Don't get me wrong. I think they should fix it up and make it decent," Avis said.
The task force plans another meeting with tenants. After that meeting with tenants, the Columbia Housing Authority Task Force will hold another meeting open to the entire community. The task force will then meet again and probably make a proposal to the Columbia housing authority sometime in November. The dates and times of those meetings are yet to be determined.
If you want more information, call the Columbia housing authority at (573) 443-2556.