Westside residents: "This place is not for sale" - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Westside residents: "This place is not for sale"

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CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) -- Michael Hutchins walks down Grove Street remembering what used to be.

The local strip mall is now just a shell of brick and glass.

What is now the medical building, used to be a school.

An Atlanta-based firm wants to turn areas like College Hill Courts into affordable housing.

Members of the firm believe this will bring the area back to life.

Michael Hutchins says, "I think it is a money issue. The big takes and the little gets demolished."

Several members from the community rallied together to oppose changing College Hill Courts.

Together they chanted, "This place is not for sale. Not for sale."

At this time there is no price either.

Purpose-Built Communities would essentially build new housing where many of the dilapidated buildings currently sit or use city appointed property.

For Section 8 residents, many would be given temporary vouchers if they did not stay in the new community.

That raises concerns with Carl Epperson.

Epperson says, "The key word is 'temporary'. What happens when the temporary runs out?"

This is the type of question city council members want answered for themselves and residents in fear.

Councilwoman Pam Ladd, who likes the idea, also says open dialogue with residents should help ease their minds.

"I want anything we do to have that in our plan," she says.

For people like Hutchins, leaving the place he's called home for 14 years, only leaves him with more questions.

"How do you get to the next place," he asks. "I have no idea. I really don't know."

The community will meet with the city at the end of February and have their concerns heard. 

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