Sarasota Housing Authority Resident's Association

Monday, December 04, 2006

Public Housing Moves Forward

This week the Sarasota Housing Authority will sign an agreement with a developer to start the redevelopment process of Sarasota's public housing - a process that has been started numerous times but never got off the ground. Maybe this time will be different.

In yesterday's SHT a series of articles describes the history, the current proposal and the hope and fears of the community:

SARASOTA -- For years, Newtown -- the historically black, low-income
neighborhood north of downtown -- has been a subject of wishful talk and failed
attempts to kick off urban renewal.

On Thursday afternoon, a deal will be struck that could change all that.

If the plan works, Newtown will experience a revival that alters its physical, social and economic landscape so dramatically that it could also change the character of the city that has so long neglected it.

Wrecking balls will make rubble out of four of the city's five housing projects. Those 388 families, like it or not, will be given rental vouchers to relocate elsewhere. And developers will erect market-quality apartments and condos.

Two-thirds of those homes will be set aside for low- to moderate-income families. The remainder are to be rented or sold to middle-class newcomers who would otherwise spurn that part of town.

Dale White has done an excellent job chronicling this story since the latest management team - Carmen Valenti and Bill Russell - have been on board. In addition to the above mentioned article thaer is an article on the developers plan and another about a similar project in Tampa done by the same developer, Michaels Development Co.


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