AUGUSTA, G.A. (WJBF) – New information on the plan to demolish and redevelop Dogwood Terrace. The city’s housing authority held a meeting today and I was there.
There’s still a way to go with the possible demolition and redevelopment of Dogwood Terrace. Housing Authority leaders say they’re still in the very early stages of the process.
“We are submitting an application to HUD that application process is a lengthy thing. We started working on it about a month ago and it takes about six months to put together a demolition application.”
If and when that application is approved that’s when the housing authority will begin meeting with residents one on one to begin start the relocation process. Residents will have two options.
“And so that could be either a transfer to another housing development or potentially it could be a tenant protection voucher which then they would be able to participate on a section 8 program and finding housing anywhere they want in the area,” said Douglas Freeman, Deputy Executive Director, Dogwood Terrace.
That means residents who find a landlord in Columbia County willing to take section 8 could move there. The only stipulation to the relocation process is that residents have to be living and in good standing on their rent at Dogwood Terrace in order to be eligible. The relocation assistance will also include utilities and other costs.
“So, we will have a contract with a moving company that will move the tenant from one site to another. It doesn’t matter if they choose the tenant protection voucher or public housing or they could choose to move themselves and we’ll pay them what we would’ve paid the contractor,” said Freeman.
Many residents were for the demolition and redevelopment of the Dogwood Terrace because of the crime, but some city leaders say that now is not the best time because of the limited amount of public housing.
“We just assume based on there’s a shortage now , but in the next two years we may not have a shortage,” said Augusta Commissioner Dennis Williams.
“It is a concern, because we know there is a problem with the homeless and this will perhaps impact it a little bit,” said Augusta Comissioner Francine Scott.
But Deputy Executive Director Douglas Freeman says the housing authority says they will not let that happen.
“When this application gets approved, we will make sure whether it’s public housing or a section 8 voucher that we have a place for everybody,” said Freeman.
Once the demolition phase concludes the housing authority will work on redeveloping Dogwood Terrace into another affordable public housing neighborhood. The expected approval for the application will be early next year.