Mixed Emotions for Residents of Housing Project to be Demolished

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Michelle Montoya has mixed feelings about moving day.

She doesn't know where she's going or when -- just knows it's coming. She lives at Northcott Court, a housing complex along Hal Greer Boulevard that the Huntington Housing Authority has been given the green light to demolish.

"I'm scared and a little excited at the same time," said Montoya, a working mom with three children, and a 10-year resident of Northcott Court. "I want the kids in the same school district. My job is right down the the street. So is the pharmacy and my doctors; it's convenient."

"We'll start meeting with residents on Friday," said Bill Dotson, the director of the Huntington Housing Authority. "This is going to happen in stages. We want to move the families out first."

Most of the families in the Northcott complex are in the part of the complex that backs up against Hal Greer Boulevard. Those three units are the first to come down.

"We hope to have those vacated by May," Dotson said, "if not sooner."

The land Northcott currently sits on will be zoned for commercial use. Residents would get transfers to other housing complexes or vouchers for Section 8 housing. Two new senior complexes, housing 40 units, each will be built in the Fairfield neighborhood. Fifty other townhouse type units would also be built for qualifying low income residents.

"We're just waiting now on the approval of the Low Income Housing Tax Credit Application," Dotson said. "That's the biggest hurdle for financing. We lost out on it last year, but this year we're confident.

The HHA should hear, one way or the other, by the end of summer.

"We're excited. This is a big step," Huntington Mayor Steve Williams said. "This gateway into downtown and Marshall University in five years will be markedly different and in 10 years you won't recognize the place."

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