Residents who live in Thomas James & R.V. Taylor public housing units were informed about a 5-year plan to relocate them.
The Mobile Housing Board held a closed door meeting for residents only at Williamson High school’s auditorium Tuesday.
Mobile Housing Board Executive Director Michael Pierce says HUD issued a mandatory conversion and identified the developments as low performing distressed properties that need to be demolished.
Pierce says the plan is to relocate residents within the next 5-years. He says the relocation process will be in phases starting in the next 8 to 12 months, it just depends on how fast HUD processes the board's application.
Pierce says the units will then be demolished.
"The units are in such disrepair that it's cost prohibitive to continue to rehab them," he said."It's less expensive to issue vouchers than to maintain that property.
Pierce says residents will receive what's called a Tenant Protection Voucher--that will help with their move.
"It allows them to be able to go out into the private sector and marketplace to rent a unit if they take vouchers," he said.
He says the housing board will partner with landlords to accept the vouchers and encourage the city to work with nonprofits and housing developers to build more housing in the area for those who want to stay in the same district.
Pierce says if residents don't want the voucher they can move into another public housing development.
He says Thomas James and R.V. Taylor house a little over 500 families.
"It's deplorable we should have been gone," Jamieta Alphonse said.
Alphonse lives in R.V. Taylor. She says she's waiting to see what happens.
"They keep saying they gone do this and do that and they haven't done it to begin with," she said.
Others say they're ready to move for safety reasons.
"I'm just wishing to move into a better place," another woman said. "I hope they do that for us. Put us in a safer place. It's not safe in the project no more."
Pierce says they haven't decided on what they'll do with the 300 acres of land once the buildings are torn down, but he says it could range from new public housing, commercial or mixed use developments.