Plans call for tearing down Dixie Homes housing complex - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Plans call for tearing down Dixie Homes housing complex

During the last 20 years, almost $30 million has been spent on reconstruction projects at the Dixie Homes housing complex.  Now there are plans for another high-priced change.  The change involves plans to tear it down.  And the people who live there, most of whom will be displaced, say it's about time.

On an average day at Dixie Homes, it's quiet.  There are windows boarded up everywhere.  The grounds are covered with trash.

The few people milling about sit on their porches and are all too willing to talk about the city's plans to tear the place down.

"They need to be tore down.  They got a basement right there and most of the time it's full of water and those big rats come up there and those mosquitos and stuff," says Andrew Montgomery, a resident there.

When the city tore down Hurt Village to make way for the pristine Uptown development, the residents were angry.

But plans to do the same here, with a $20 million federal housing grant, aren't bringing the same outrage.

Latoya Johnson has lived here for two years.  She says the crime here - a main motivator for redevelopment - is bad.  "There's a lot of gang violence and stuff and you know, a lot of junkies walk through here and you know so I think it kind of protect the people that live over here and stop all the crime that's happening in the area," she said.

But others worry about where they'll live when Dixie Homes comes down.

Robert Lipscomb heads Memphis housing.  He says relocating people is a priority.  "We don't just kick em out.  They have choices.  That's the condition of the grant.  But that's also the way we do business."

Lipscomb says other Section 8 housing will be available to residents with limited incomes.

The benefit would be shared with the hospital community just across the block from Dixie Homes.  They have seen an increase in crime and one of the hopes is that this will help.  The goal is to build a mixed-income community like Uptown and College Park.  They want to do the same at University Place and Lamar Terrace.

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