Murfreesboro Housing Authority sets 2 public meetings for Oakland Court Redevelopment

Apr 12, 2019 at 08:00 am by Voice Wire

Oakland Court Redevelopment

Two meetings — a Public Workshop and a Public Open House — are scheduled Tuesday, April 23, and Thursday, April 25, to gain public input on draft plans for the redevelopment of Oakland Court.

Both the Public Workshop and the Public Open House are a come-and-go format from 4-6 p.m. at the Murfreesboro Housing Authority (MHA) at 415 North Maple Street. A brief presentation will occur at 5 p.m. at both meetings.

The public is invited and encouraged to attend both meetings, as plans will be updated between the April 23 and the April 25 meetings to show progress based on public comment and feedback.

The first meetings to gain input for the Oakland Court Redevelopment Master Plan were held over three days in mid-March with residents, area property owners, nonprofits and the general public. Hundreds of questions and comments were recorded and used to create draft plans that will be shown April 23, including preliminary master plan options, housing designs and streetscape options.

"We heard from a large number of people during the first phase of meetings in March," said Charlie L. Teasley, Chair of the MHA Board of Directors. "We’re using what we heard in this second round of plans and are bringing those back to show to the community again for their feedback. We especially appreciated hearing from our residents about the value of a front porch, for instance, as this is a comment we heard over and over again.

"Overall, we are working to replace aging housing that can’t be repaired with something the residents and community will be proud of, and we believe the overall value will be tremendous to Murfreesboro."

Oakland Court is a 76-home public housing neighborhood on approximately 20 acres between North Academy and Maney Avenues in Murfreesboro. If adequate funding is secured, plans call for the 76 homes at Oakland Court to be replaced with brand new homes, and for another 74 homes to be added there, along with overall improvements to the neighborhood.

The Oakland Court Redevelopment Master Plan is the first in a multi-phase, multi-year process that will also include the redevelopment of Mercury Court and Parkside, two more Murfreesboro public housing neighborhoods. This is all being done under HUD’s RAD program.

Funding for the master plan and construction will be by secured loans and Low Income Housing Tax Credits issued by the Tennessee Housing Development Agency, if MHA’s funding applications are approved. If enough funding can be secured over time, likely six to eight years, Mercury Court and Parkside, two additional public housing neighborhoods in Murfreesboro, also will be redeveloped.

Oakland Court is managed by MHA, which is responsible for maintenance and upkeep of the homes, all of which are rented to residents. Families living in public housing managed by MHA pay 30 percent of their income for rent and utilities.

 

Reductions in federal funding for public housing are driving redevelopment of public housing in Murfreesboro and across the nation. "We encourage the community to come to both of these meetings to see what is being proposed to expand and upgrade affordable housing in Murfreesboro," said Thomas Rowe, MHA Executive Director. "This is a big step for our city. We are working toward an end result of a brand new neighborhood at Oakland Court with new homes, sidewalks, a community building and other nice amenities for residents."

What happens after the master plan is complete?

After the master plan is created and made final, and funding is secured, plans call for 30 families currently living at Oakland Court to relocate to temporary housing for approximately 12 to 18 months.

During that time, in Phase I, 76 new homes will be built where the existing 30 homes previously stood. Once the 76 homes are complete, the 30 residents who relocated and 46 Oakland Court residents who remained on the property during the first phase of construction will move to the 76 new replacement homes in Oakland Court, completing Phase I by a projected date of December 2021.

In Phase II, 74 additional homes will be added for a total of 150 homes at Oakland Court, almost doubling the number of homes available there to qualified families. After these 74 homes are complete, families living in Mercury Court, a public housing neighborhood located on Hancock Street in Murfreesboro, will relocate to new housing at Oakland Court.

After the Mercury Court residents relocate to Oakland Court, the approximately 15 acres at Mercury Court will be redeveloped to include additional affordable and mixed income housing, as well as possible commercial development.

"Our goal is to design a new neighborhood at Oakland Court, complete with new homes that blend with the surrounding area, while also expanding the number of affordable homes for Murfreesboro," said Margaret Butler, AIA, LEED AP, Principal and Vice President, McCarty Holsaple McCarty of Knoxville, Tennessee. Butler leads a team of firms working on the Phase I master plan, including Butler; Richard Foster, AIA, LAP, Director of Design, McCarty Holsaple McCarty; Randy Caldwell, R.L.A., LEED AP, Executive Vice President, and Kevin Guenther, P.L.A., LEED AP, Associate, Ragan Smith Associates of Murfreesboro; Bill Huddleston, P.E., R.L.S., Huddleston Steele Engineering, Inc. of Murfreesboro; Phyllis Vaughn and Phillip Vaughn, CPA, Vaughn Development Group, Inc. of Nashville; and Terri Sterling Donovan, APR, Principal, Sterling Communications of Murfreesboro.

"When complete, we will have the same mix of home sizes at Oakland Court as we do now," Butler said. "We envision nice streets, homes with front porches that are closer to sidewalks lining each street, and other improvements." Butler said hearing from the residents will guide what the new Oakland Court neighborhood will look like and amenities it might include.

About public housing in the U.S.

Currently, public housing across the country, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, needs more than $26 billion in repairs. Because adequate funding has not been appropriated by Congress to maintain public housing, a new program, titled Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD), has been instituted. RAD provides public housing authorities like MHA the ability to enter into long-term contracts that facilitate the financing of improvements through public and private debt and equity in order to reinvest in public housing.

About the Murfreesboro Housing Authority

The Murfreesboro Housing Authority is a nonprofit corporation that began in 1950 to provide housing for low-income families. The mission of the Murfreesboro Housing Authority is to provide decent, safe and sanitary housing in good repair for eligible families in a manner that promotes serviceability, economy, efficiency and stability of the developments; and to utilize all available resources to maximize the social and economic opportunities of its residents.

A five-member Board of Directors appointed by the Mayor of Murfreesboro governs the MHA.

If you go ...

Public Workshop

Oakland Court Redevelopment Master Plan
The public is invited and encouraged to attend.
Tuesday, April 23, 2019
4 p.m. – 6 p.m.; brief presentation at 5 p.m./come-and-go format Murfreesboro Housing Authority, Maple Room

415 North Maple Street, Murfreesboro, TN 37130

***Updated plans will be shared with participants, and feedback will be collected.

Public Open House

Oakland Court Redevelopment Master Plan
The public is invited and encouraged to attend.
Thursday, April 25, 2019
4 p.m. – 6 p.m.; brief presentation at 5 p.m./come-and-go format Murfreesboro Housing Authority, Maple Room

415 North Maple Street, Murfreesboro, TN 37130

***Revised plans based on feedback received at the Public Workshop April 23 will be shared, and more feedback will be collected.



Comments

or Register to post a comment

Get the Newsletter!