Norfolk moving toward overhaul of public housing neighborhoods

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NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Norfolk City Council voted in favor of a resolution that puts the city one step close toward overhauling three public housing neighborhoods.

Council approved a resolution with a 7-1 vote to allow City Manager Douglas L. Smith to work with the Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority on a plan for the Saint Paul’s area.

The plan would completely overhaul Calvert Square, Tidewater Gardens, and Young Terrace neighborhoods.

Related: What’s next for Norfolk’s public housing?

The city held meetings last summer to work out how to the area’s public housing for residents. NRHA board president Barbara Hamm Lee said at the time residents expressed that they wanted housing, less flooding and less crime.

Council still needs to approve a plan for the project.

City officials rolled out a 10-year plan in 2017 for replacing Calvert Square, Tidewater Gardens and Young Terrace with mixed-income housing. It called for the removal of 1,700 units over 10 years.

City spokesperson Lori Crouch says the $3 million plan provides support services to homeowners and residents to identify their needs and to make sure those needs are met.

Possible demolition of the neighborhoods is several years away, according to Crouch.

Barbara Hamm Lee is the Saint Paul’s area spokesperson. She tells 10 On Your Side the plan is about people and not buildings.

“No one is being displaced tomorrow, no one is being kicked out of their homes. This is a long ten year or more process,” said Hamm Lee.  “The resolution allows us to begin the ‘People’s First’ initiative, we recognize this transformation is about people, it’s not about buildings, it’s about people.”

Residents can expect new programs in 2017 and 2018.

“We will be assigning a case worker to a family in every community, it will be phased in based on what the ultimate plan is for the changes within Saint Paul,” said Hamm Lee.

Stay with WAVY.com for the latest developments.

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