Groundbreaking held for housing development

Published 7:00 pm Sunday, July 28, 2013

The Brookhaven Housing Authority held a groundbreaking ceremony Friday for Phase I of the new Southview Housing Development on Turner Street across from Alexander Junior High School.

The site, which previously held Carver Heights Apartments until 2010, will eventually have 38 units available. The first phase will involve 15 units along a new road with a cul-de-sac.

Mike Proffitt, executive director of the Housing Authority, said the housing will be specifically for the elderly in need. He stressed the importance because of the extremely long waiting list.

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Currently, it takes about 18 months before units are available, and placement is determined on a first-come, first-serve basis. He explained the reason is that it is hard to tell who has the greatest need.

The demand stems from a continuously growing elderly population coupled with the need to provide decent, safe and sanitary housing for these families, he said.

“This is something we’ve been dealing with for some time,” said Robert Tyler, chairman of the Housing Authority Board of Commissioners.

Monday will mark the first official day of construction. Jones-Zander, Ltd. is the architectural firm that designed the complex, and Smith Painting and Contracting Inc. will handle the construction.

“We’re just excited to get started,” Proffitt said.

Terry L. Bates, Ward Two alderman, said he is looking forward to the benefit the development will bring to his ward. After Carver Heights was closed, he said people were forced to move out of his ward. Now, he expects a population resurgence when Southview reopens.

However, the development will benefit more than just Ward Two, he said. “This is going to be nice for the community.”

The construction will continue in three phases, each with its own cul-de-sac. All units will be either one or two bedrooms, and some will be designed specifically for wheelchair access.