LaGRANGE, Ga. (WRBL) – The LaGrange Housing Authority is adding 12 homes and a community center to a neighborhood that did not previously contain public housing. The empty land off of Ragland and Colquitt Streets will be rezoned as the new home of public housing units.
Adding public housing units to the neighborhood is meant to decentralize poverty, according to officials.
“We’ve done the same thing for 56 years and you’re going to get the same results. We’re trying to produce different results,” said Chief Executive Officer of the LaGrange Housing Authority, Zsa Zsa Heard.
According to Heard, the Housing Authority wants to intentionally interrupt poverty. They would like to take individuals from blighted areas and move them into more affluent areas.
“If you’re going to move persons out of where they already are in poverty or already in blighted areas into areas that are thriving, that are doing well. They have the opportunity to do the same things that other people are doing,” said Heard.
She wants to break barriers and stigmas about public housing and does not believe in separating the public housing sector.
“I think people are becoming used to seeing what we’re doing and knowing that it should happen. It should’ve been happening and it didn’t for whatever reasons but I think they’re getting used to it or they’re going to have to get used to seeing it,” said Heard.
Each individual is required to work while living in public housing and the rent is based on the person’s income.
The funds will be coming from the housing authority’s Capital Fund Program which will allow them to build from the ground up. The project is set to start in July 2021 and should take approximately 18 to 20 months.
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