Concerns grow over Westside community proposal
CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) -- Chattanooga's largest housing projects will look a lot different if the city takes an Atlanta-based group's advice.
College Hill Courts could become a mixed income community for those who get government help and for those who do not.
Carol Naughton with Purpose Built Communities says, "We work with local leaders to help craft local solutions."
By 'solutions,' Naughton means the ongoing crime problems facing the area, like overcrowding, and unlivable buildings.
Leroy Griffith is a local pastor on the Westside.
City council told him and others at council Tuesday night to bring their concerns back another time.
He fears the proposal will force people to lose their homes.
"It is not the way you create change for a neighborhood and go about doing what you think is best for them," Griffith says.
The non-profit group says this has worked in Atlanta and Chattanooga should try it.
"They are successful at what they do but all the residents aren't considered," says Roxanne Larson.
Larson is with Dogwood Manor Tower and fears the new community would turn her building into condos.
If that happens, some residents would have to come up with a new way to afford home health care.
"We are senior citizens and disabled and I can't see us moving out," Larson says.
Griffith says, "If they were listening to their people, they would know now is not the right time to go and bring in an organization that brings a threat on that community with talking to them about the real plans."
The group has worked with mixed use communities in Alabama and Louisiana.
No decision has been made by the city, according to the mayor's office.
The residents will be allowed to voice their concerns at a meeting later this month.