Whatever happened to ... Purpose Built not on CHA agenda

Whatever happened to ... Purpose Built not on CHA agenda

March 17th, 2013 by Yolanda Putman in Local Regional News

Residents of the Westside community speak against Purpose Built during a 2012 news conference outside Renaissance Presbyterian Church in Chattanooga.

Photo by Staff File Photo/Times Free Press.

Question: Whatever happened to Purpose Built?

Answer: Chattanooga Housing Authority executive director Betsy McCright said she has no immediate plans to bring Purpose Built back to Chattanooga.

It was nearly a year ago when the Atlanta-based nonprofit Purpose Built visited the CHA to hear the agency's concerns for the city's deteriorating public housing stock. Purpose Built, focused on community revitalization, offered its model of reducing public housing to establish a mixed-income community, but several residents were concerned about displacement.

Now, McCright said she wants to hear ideas from residents and city leaders about what could be done to house people with low or no incomes.

If nothing happens to East Lake Courts and College Hill Courts, the city's two largest and oldest sites, the housing stock eventually will have to be vacated because it will be unfit for habitation, said McCright.

McCright said she wants to meet with residents and local leaders to hear their ideas before considering Purpose Built again.