AIKEN, S.C. (WJBF) — Residents in Aiken’s Hahn Village will soon face relocation starting February.
“They were telling us about it last year, too. So we knew it was coming but we just ain’t know exactly when,” Patricia Corbett told NewsChannel 6’s Shawn Cabbagestalk. “They said it’s going to do a demolition but they didn’t say why,” she added.
Corbett has lived in Hahn Village for nearly four years. Denise Walker recently moved into the area. The pair says that while there is crime in the area, they aren’t concerned. “There’s crime everywhere, but that’s all right with me. I don’t bother nobody. Nobody don’t bother me,” Corbett shared.
Soon her current neighbors in Hahn Village will be no more. The announcement to demolish the housing complex was announced in March 2018. Newschannel 6 reported in 2018 that $12.5 million dollars are the price-tag of rehabbing the affordable housing units. That’s why the Aiken Housing Authority has decided it would cheaper to just tear it down.
“Well, we may have some plumbing, some outdoor issues, the over headings need to be replaced. It’s just old,” Walker shared. “I mean from ’79 until now I really believe we need the upgraded area in Aiken,” Walker added.
“The only problem I have is my sinks won’t stop dripping. They just drip, drip, drip, drip, drip. But other than that I don’t have no problem,” Corbett said.
At a recent meeting, we’re told officials are looking to provide tenant protection vouchers to families.”They just started saying that they gonna start handing out vouchers in February,” Corbett revealed. “So, they gonna do like 30, 30, 30 at a time and then they going to start with the people that have children first so they can get this school and stuff going,” she added.
Tenant Protection vouchers assist Local Public Housing Agency (PHAs) with relocation or replacement housing needs that result from the demolition, disposition, or mandatory conversion of public housing units. Also, tenant protection vouchers include providing assistance to families living in section 8 projects for which the owner is opting out of the HAP contract, HUD is taking enforcement action against owners with project-based assistance, and projects for which the owner is prepaying the mortgage, according to HUD.
When asked where the women will go, Corbett says that she will take the opporunity to search close to home first. “We’re not really sure yet, but I guess we’re going to start with Aiken County and then if we can’t find no way in Aiken County then we’re going to have to go somewhere else,” she said.
Walker says that she wants a place that makes her feel safe. “We would like to relocate to a decent place even if we have to move out of the area. Everybody’s comfortable with where they are, really, but if we have to go, then we’ll just relocate,” she said.
Approximately 250 people are expected to be impacted