NORFOLK, Va. (WVEC) — It's what St. Paul's area residents have been waiting to hear about since the announcement of the St. Paul's Redevelopment Project talks started --- where they'll go.
"I pray and I hope that they'll work as hard as they can to meet those deadlines because the people will be affected here by that," said Lavonne Pledger, who lives in Young Terrace.
Pledger was one of many who voiced his opinion at Wednesday's meeting as project leaders laid out the timeline.
The Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority is anticipating demolition to start in early 2019. More than 600 apartments will be torn down.
As far as relocating residents, that will be done in four phases.
"We're estimating four to five years to get through all four relocation phases in Tidewater Gardens," said Donna Mills, the Chief Housing Officer for the NRHA.
Mills said it's important to let residents know they have options throughout this process.
If they want to remain in the St Paul's area, they will be temporarily housed somewhere else while the new homes are being built. Once construction is complete, those residents can move back to the new homes.
If they do not want to return, they can be moved to private housing with a Housing Choice Voucher, or to another NRHA community. Those residents can still maintain income-based rent.
NRHA said it is responsible for moving costs for everyone, no matter which option residents choose.
"The phasing and the building first...I think the dates have to match up along with the services," said Pledger.
"The People First initiative that the city and NRHA are partnering together with is going to be a huge component to let residents know that we're here for them and will be through the future," said Mills.
The NRHA will apply for a federal grant for the project in September. Mills said whether they get approved for the grant or not, the project will still move forward.
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