Meetings planned on housing grant

Published 11:40 pm Friday, February 17, 2012

A series of meetings scheduled for Feb. 27-28 aim to educate the public about an ambitious project the Suffolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority is taking on.

The authority recently received a $250,000 Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to help plan and design a revitalization effort for the Cypress Manor/Parker Riddick housing complexes and the surrounding neighborhood.

As part of that grant, the authority is required to hold informational sessions for the community, said SRHA executive director Clarissa McAdoo.

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“It’s just an opportunity to put it out there that we got the grant and what it will mean for the community at large,” McAdoo said. “We’re opening it up to the public to have those stakeholders right there to hear it, so as we start our planning process they will understand the project we’re going to be undertaking.”

The grant was one of 13 Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grants totaling $3.6 million given throughout the country to help with efforts to revitalize housing. There were 71 applicants for the grant.

The housing authority has been working on a master plan for Cypress Manor and Parker Riddick for about five years. It has grown to include not only the public housing but also the nearby White Marsh Shopping Plaza, a three-acre parcel owned by the city, and a planned adjacent community by Davis Boulevard, LLC.

The goal is to plan not just for better housing, McAdoo said, but also for public schools, early learning programs, public transportation and a variety of jobs and services.

The two-day agenda of meetings on the project includes a tour of the housing areas, an overview of the grant process, and separate sections on the planning processes for housing, neighborhoods and people.

“I think an hour in those particular areas certainly will be significant enough to lay the framework for how this planning process will be undertaken,” McAdoo said.

However, for those who work during the day or don’t want to attend for an entire day, there is a community stakeholder meeting on Feb. 27 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. that will give an overview of the process.

McAdoo encouraged businesses, organizations and individuals to come to the stakeholder meeting — or to any of the sessions — to learn more about the process.

The schedule is below. For more information, call 539-2100.

Monday, Feb. 27

Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts — 110 W. Finney Ave.

  • 9 a.m. — Grantee opening and welcome
  • 9:15 a.m. — HUD opening and Choice Neighborhoods introduction
  • 9:30 a.m. — Brief orientation to city
  • 9:45 a.m. — Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grant big picture
  • 10:15 a.m. — Tour of focus housing and neighborhood sites
  • 12:15 p.m. — Lunch break at SRHA, 530 E. Pinner St., then back to SCCA
  • 1:15 p.m. — Presentation and discussion on neighborhood planning process
  • 2:30 p.m. — Presentation on people planning process
  • 3:45 p.m. — Presentation on housing planning process
  • 4:45 p.m. — “Dutch treat” dinner at Mosaic Café, 110 W. Finney Ave.
  • 6 p.m. — Community stakeholder meeting at East Suffolk Recreation Center, 138 S. Sixth St.

Tuesday, Feb. 28

Suffolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority — 530 E. Pinner St.

  • 9:30 a.m. — Wrap-up conference