HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - More affordable housing options are coming to the city of Huntsville.
Both the city, and Huntsville Housing Authority were awarded a $1.3 million Choice Neighborhood Planning grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
City leaders are already planning the redevelopment of Butler Terrace, a popular public housing complex.
Cathy Miller with United Way of Madison County said finding affordable housing in Huntsville is hard.
“We have had a rent increase on a two bedroom apartment here, probably just in four years, of about $250," Miller said.
With COVID-19 it’s even more difficult.
“All of a sudden, someone couldn’t pay rent and they maybe had a landlord that wouldn’t work with them and put them out on the street," Miller elaborated.
Now, the city is making sure there are even more options out there.
Miller said this is something the City of Huntsville is working with the Huntsville Housing Authority to fix with the help of this new grant.
Butler Terrace and Butler Terrace Addition are parts of a distressed housing complex, but Director of Community Development Scott Erwin said that will soon change.
“They have 250 units approximately so we will replace those and probably have higher number of units here that will include market rate," Erwin said. "We are also looking at retail commercial sites. It’s 28 acres, so on those 28 acres we will come up with a master plan.”
Miller said this project will be the first official mixed income housing complex in the city.
Quisha Riche with Huntsville Housing Authority said the city is in the beginning stages.
“We have applied through HUD to demolish Butler Terrace Addition, so once we get that approval we will meet with our residents and issue them vouchers," Riche said.
He emphasized that no current residents will end up homeless. Riche said the city will make sure they have a place to go until the new apartments are complete.
After the first phase, Riche said the planning process will determine what they do with the other part of the property, Butler Terrace.
Former resident Nicholas Jones said it will just make the community better for the children.
“It’s safer now than it’s ever been, but it will definitely make it more safe than that because there will be a lot more opportunity," Jones said.
Huntsville Housing Authority leaders told our crews this project will take about five years.