City demolishes public houses - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

City demolishes public houses

Some central Albany eyesores are coming down to make way for what leaders hope will be a thriving mixed-income community.

The Albany Housing Authority is still working on a plan that could bring up to 30-million dollars from the federal government to redevelop the neighborhood.  

Demolition crews were hard at work Tuesday afternoon tearing down old houses on Madison Street. The Albany Housing Authority has a plan to do the same thing to McIntosh Homes across the street, but they're lacking one thing.  

"Money, in order to get things going you gotta have some seed capital to invest, you got to bring private investors in there," said Dan McCarthy, Executive Director, Albany Housing Authority.  

The housing authority hopes to remake this neighborhood into a development called The Oaks at North Intown. 

"That's been something that our housing authority has kind of taken on as a major objective about three or four years ago, that we've got to do something about this neighborhood because we're seeing the deterioration and it's got potential to be a beautiful neighborhood," said McCarthy.

A-H-A officials are finalizing a proposal they hope will bring tens of millions of dollars from the Department of Housing and Urban Development. 

"In order to get those grants and that's part of this choice neighborhood you have to come up with a plan which we're completing now are transformation plan," said McCarthy.  

Local money will also be needed for the project, but for now the public housing project will remain.  

"We can't tear down the public housing because we don't have money to rebuild the public housing, " said McCarthy.  

McIntosh Homes resident Olie Mae Thornton believes a neighborhood makeover attract new businesses and benefit the whole city.   

"It will be better for us because we need ore stores out here in the community, we need more wash rooms and it be better for young people and elderly people like me myself," said Olie Mae Thornton, Madison Street resident.  

The Housing Authority is thankful for all the community support they've gotten for the project so far.  

"I've been overwhelmed sometimes about how much people have bought into this vision. This chance that we can really focus our resources and do something positive for the community," said McCarthy  

And in the end make the lives of the residents in McIntosh and surrounding communities better.

HUD gave the Albany Housing Authority a 250-thousand dollar planning grant as a finalist for the Choice Neighborhood Grant program. 

It will probably be next year before the authority submits a final grant application.

The Housing Authority is currently searching for private developers to invest in the project. Just today, Albany City Commissioners voiced their support though they haven't committed any money yet.

Copyright 2013 WALB.  All rights reserved.  

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