Plans underway to revitalize Columbia's two oldest public housin - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Plans underway to revitalize Columbia's two oldest public housing developments

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

The last two oldest public housing developments in Columbia could be coming down.

Built in the 1940's, plans are underway to revitalize both Gonzales Gardens and Allen Benedict Court.

The Columbia housing authority has started with focus groups and is developing a plan to turn the communities in a thriving area.

The plans not only include tearing down the units and re-building, but look at the surrounding neighborhood to figure out how to help residents overcome the effects of poverty.

"We have drive-by's, I don't even like for my kids to come outside half the time because I'm scared they will ride through here and start shooting because a bullet doesn't have a name on it," said Toni, a Gonzales Gardens tenant.

Toni has lived in Gonzales Gardens for 9 years.

She and other tenants say they're tired of being surrounded by negativity and crime. But, they're not sure the proposed re-development will help.

"They can change the buildings. They can change how it looks - everything but it's not going to change if they bring in the same people," said Tajia Seabrooks, a Gonzales Gardens tenant.

The plan, so far, calls for a complete overhaul of both Gonzales Gardens and Allen Benedict Court -- similar to the Saxon Homes project several years ago.

"It's obsolete for a lot of reasons - in the design, the fact that it doesn't have central air and heat and isn't accessible for handicap," said Julia Prater with the Columbia housing authority.

Prater said the units need to be updated and the neighborhood.

"The total area as a whole has about a 58 percent poverty rate and that was really the most concentrated poverty area in the city," Prater said.

Prater said they're working with groups to help tenants get jobs.

"People just need to make more steps toward the process of change then the neighborhood would be a better place," Seabrooks said.

The housing authority will submit its plan on July 1 to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Then they have to find funding to make the plans a reality.

"The 'people' component is really the most important because you want to help people have the resources to become self-sufficient - not need us anymore," Prater said. "That's the ideal world -- that no one needs public housing anymore."

For more information about the proposed project, visit chacoice.com.

Copyright 2014 WIS. All rights reserved.

  • South Carolina news on WIStv.comNEWSMore>>

  • North Korea slams Pence as summit with Trump grows shakier

    North Korea slams Pence as summit with Trump grows shakier

    Wednesday, May 23 2018 8:51 PM EDT2018-05-24 00:51:44 GMT
    Thursday, May 24 2018 10:03 AM EDT2018-05-24 14:03:15 GMT
    (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon). Women protesters stage a rally for peace on the Korea peninsular near U.S. Embassy in Seoul, Wednesday, May 23, 2018. U.S. President Donald Trump labored with South Korea's Moon Jae-in Tuesday to keep the highly anticipated U...(AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon). Women protesters stage a rally for peace on the Korea peninsular near U.S. Embassy in Seoul, Wednesday, May 23, 2018. U.S. President Donald Trump labored with South Korea's Moon Jae-in Tuesday to keep the highly anticipated U...
    A top North Korean official says recent comments by U.S. Vice President Mike Pence were "stupid" and "ignorant" and again warns the country is willing to pull out of a planned summit with Trump.More >>
    A top North Korean official says recent comments by U.S. Vice President Mike Pence were "stupid" and "ignorant" and again warns the country is willing to pull out of a planned summit with Trump.More >>
  • breaking

    Trump cancels North Korea summit

    Trump cancels North Korea summit

    Thursday, May 24 2018 9:50 AM EDT2018-05-24 13:50:52 GMT
    Thursday, May 24 2018 9:58 AM EDT2018-05-24 13:58:12 GMT

    "Sadly, based on the tremendous anger and open hostility displayed in your most recent statement, I feel it is inappropriate, at this time, to have this long-planned meeting," according to a statement released by the White House on Thursday.

    More >>

    "Sadly, based on the tremendous anger and open hostility displayed in your most recent statement, I feel it is inappropriate, at this time, to have this long-planned meeting," according to a statement released by the White House on Thursday.

    More >>
  • Uber ends self-driving program in Arizona after fatal crash

    Uber ends self-driving program in Arizona after fatal crash

    Wednesday, May 23 2018 1:43 PM EDT2018-05-23 17:43:18 GMT
    Thursday, May 24 2018 9:55 AM EDT2018-05-24 13:55:35 GMT
    Uber is ending its operation of self-driving cars in Arizona more than two months after a woman was struck and killed by one of its vehicles. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, file)Uber is ending its operation of self-driving cars in Arizona more than two months after a woman was struck and killed by one of its vehicles. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, file)
    Uber is ending its operation of self-driving cars in Arizona more than two months after a woman was struck and killed by one of its vehicles. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, file)Uber is ending its operation of self-driving cars in Arizona more than two months after a woman was struck and killed by one of its vehicles. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, file)

    Uber is ending its operation of self-driving cars in Arizona more than two months after a woman was struck and killed by one of its vehicles.

    More >>

    Uber is ending its operation of self-driving cars in Arizona more than two months after a woman was struck and killed by one of its vehicles.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly