HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Plans are in the works for public housing on Hal Greer Boulevard to be demolished.
The Northcott Court apartments were built in the 1940's. The Huntington Housing Authority is planning to tear them down.
Neighbors had a chance to voice their concerns Wednesday night about what will happen once the homes are gone.
Resident Stella Fletcher says she supports the move.
"I myself personally saw a shooting in front of my house," Fletcher said.
Wednesday night Northcott residents and members of the community met with the Huntington Housing Authority at the Marie Redd Senior Center to get a clearer picture of what the plan is.
HHA Executive Director Bill Dotson says the demolition would be done over 4 to 5 years. They'll be building new, modern affordable housing in the Fairfield West neighborhood. He says they'll have a place for everyone who now lives in the 130 units at Northcott.
"I've been talking with this community for almost a year now, and they are solidly behind this," he said.
Hal Greer Boulevard is now being widened, leaving the road three feet from front doors.
The Northcott manager says the housing's condensed location and vulnerable residents make it inviting to drug dealers and criminals.
"What we're trying to do is provide better housing, better amenities for these families to be out in the communities to have a better chance of survival," he said at the meeting Wednesday night.
Construction on the replacement units could begin as soon as January, Dotson said.
City Councilwoman Sandra Clements, who represents that district, says some people have been concerned, given how other cities have torn down public housing and residents have ended up without a home, but she says she's confident that will not be the case here.
After demolition, that land would be used for commercial use. Members of the community have said they'd like to see a grocery store there.
The HHA is now waiting for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to approve the demolition.
The project would cost 24 million dollars total. They'll be paying for it mostly through low income tax credits.
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