UPDATE: More plans announced for the future of Cherry Tree - WFXG FOX54 Augusta - Your News One Hour Earlier

UPDATE: More plans announced for the future of Cherry Tree

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AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) -

UPDATE: Mr. Harden Oldfield III, Director of Resident Services at the Augusta Housing Authority, spoke of residents at Cherry Tree Crossing and Extension at a resident meeting on Tuesday, October 23, 2012 and Wednesday, October 24, 2012, outlining the best case scenario for the redevelopment of Cherry Tree. He indicated that the Demolition/Disposition Application would be submitted to the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in late December 2012. If the application is approved by HUD, 90 Day Vacate Letters would be sent to Residents of Cherry Tree Crossing in the spring of 2013. During this time, staff in the Resident Services Department will meet with individuals and families to discuss housing options and assist them in their housing relocation. Residents of Cherry Tree would begin moving in the summer of 2013. Residents will have an option to be relocated to other public housing communities or to move into private housing with assistance through the Housing Choice Voucher Program. A demolition contract will be awarded after all residents have been relocated.

The Augusta Housing Authority expects to submit an application under the Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program to the Georgia Department of Community Affairs in 2014 for the first phase of the redevelopment project.  Construction on the new mixed income development should begin in the fall of 2015 and ready for occupancy in the summer of 2016.

The redevelopment at Cherry Tree will be the second mixed-income development in the Central Savannah Rapids Area. Funding will occur through tax credits, whose purpose is to facilitate the production of affordable multifamily rental housing statewide through the allocation of federal income tax incentives to building owners.

ORIGINAL STORY:

Residents packed into a meeting at the Cherry Tree Crossing Tuesday afternoon, coming to get answers.

Hundreds of those residents with questions about what's next after the city decided to move forward with plans to tear the aging public housing development down.

"You got older people, you got young girls with children, you got pregnant women," said resident Jonny Robinson.

The Housing Authority hopes to relocate the families in Cherry Tree and build mixed income housing where the development now stands, a move some of the residents say is frustrating.

"It's time to settle down with change these older people can't keep moving and moving and moving," said resident Andrena Meyers. 

For others who live in the crime ridden area, moving is exactly what they hope to do.

"Oh I care, I'm ready to move out of this neighborhood. This neighborhood is terrible the first chance I get I'm getting out of here," said Latoya White, who has lived in Cherry Tree for six years.

Getting out of the neighborhood by being placed in other public housing developments or by being given vouchers to move into Section 8 housing.

"Before you bring on change you must educate these people about getting better jobs," said Meyers. 

The project still needs approval from the government, which will take months, and for those ready to move, that is months too long.

"It's terrible. One time me and my son were outside and someone started shooting and we had to run inside. That's how terrible it is," said White. 

The Housing Authority expects to hold another meeting Wednesday afternoon to further discuss the moving process.

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