NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY)–What is the future for one of the largest sections of public housing in Norfolk?
For the last few months the city held meetings with residents in the St. Paul’s section. That includes Tidewater Gardens, Young Terrace, and Calvert Square. The goal was to find out what residents want in a future community, as the city plans to revitalize the area.
When it rains in Norfolk, it floods in Rosa Bonds’ front yard.
“Only thing that can get in and out, that’s the ducks,” she smirked.
Every storm, it’s the same story on her street in Calvert Square. The flooding is just one of the many concerns about the place she calls home.
“I would like to see a whole lot done,” Bonds sighed.
This summer Norfolk held meetings to work out a plan to reshape the area’s public housing. That included residents of Young Terrace, Tidewater Gardens, and Calvert Square. When Bonds went, she gave city officials an earful.
“I was telling them about everything about fixing up the buildings so people can live safely and get this flood out,” she explained.
This week the report from those meetings came out. It’s not shocking what the city found.
“People want what everyone wants in the neighborhood,” NRHA board president Barbara Hamm Lee said.
Lee said residents want better housing, less flooding and less crime.
Wednesday, we found crews addressing those concerns: installing more security lights and inspecting the homes.
“While people are still living in public housing, we’re going to make sure that they are as safe as they can be and make sure they are clean and livable,” she said.
That is the short term.
In next phase Norfolk will look at demolishing the barracks style homes-and creating modern apartments with mixed income living. Possible plans include adding commercial development, more job training, and projects to alleviate flooding.
Outside her door in Calvert Square, Rosa Bonds said she that’s what she wants on one condition:
“Bring us back if you gonna fix it up around here,” she said. “‘Cause I like where I live at.”
The city will look at the future project in the next few months. The time table for something of that size would be 10-15 years.
“This is about creating neighborhoods that are safe, affordable and that people can live a good life in,” Hamm Lee said.