The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Local News

February 21, 2014

Fair Oaks looked at for demolition

Buildings near Moore Street see higher crime

DANVILLE – Danville Housing Authority officials have identified three buildings on the east side of the Fair Oaks housing complex that could be the first for possible demolition of public housing units.

These plans and the process to get approval from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for the housing demolition were to be presented Thursday to the DHA board for discussion.

During the board’s December meeting, vice chairman Lon Henderson asked management to report on how the authority can use Section 8 vouchers to move residents as they vacate buildings and about the process to demolish buildings.

According to minutes from the December board meeting, Henderson said the approximately 85 percent occupancy also should open up units to move residents around at Fair Oaks and away from the buildings proposed for demolition.

“We’ve self-assessed and have identified three buildings we believe would be the best ones to remove,” said Greg Hilleary, DHA executive director.

The buildings would remove 28 units (10 each in two buildings and eight in another) from the 326-unit Fair Oaks development. The buildings all are on the east side of the complex on Belton Avenue and near Moore Street. The Moore Street area is where there have been more criminal issues and trespassers to the public housing property.

The buildings tend to experience a high rate of turnover, see frequent and extensive repairs because of poor construction and also don’t have washer and dryer hook-ups, making them less desirable to rent, according to DHA officials.

Hilleary said he’d like to see something else constructed before they’d knock down buildings.

There is a possibility of using Section 8 vouchers for relocation.

The city and DHA officials plan to resume regular meetings next week — they have not met since November — to talk about affordable, mixed-income housing to replace dense public housing.

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