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Birmingham Housing Authority accepting proposals to redevelop Southtown

Birmingham Housing Authority accepting proposals to redevelop Southtown
Birmingham Housing Authority accepting proposals to redevelop Southtown
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Birmingham's Southtown housing community could face a wrecking ball in the not too distant future.

The site that's been public housing for the past 75 years looks inviting to developers. The 25 acre property is located just off University Boulevard near St. Vincent's Hospital.

Birmingham Housing Authority will accept proposals until July 29 to turn the site into a project incorporating commercial use and mixed income housing.

Housing Authority Executive Director Michael Lundy says dirt could move within the year.

If the housing authority approves a developer's plan, the 455 families who live in Southtown would be relocated.

Britney White is one resident who wants Southtown to be torn down so she can move out.

"Get away from over here," White said. "The reason why is shooting. You can't get no sleep out here. And it's just, they don't ever fix nothing. It's just bad."

White envisions moving to a public housing site in center point.

All of the Southtown residents ABC 33/40 spoke to Wednesday said they support bringing in the bull dozer and moving the families.

"Some families may choose to move to our existing public housing sites," said Lundy. "Other families may decide to take a housing voucher. There may be a significant amount of families that want to come back to the redeveloped site."

Families who live at Southtown now will have first priority among people who apply for the property's new affordable living units.

Lundy also wants the project to incorporate green space and community space.

He's not dictating what percentage of the project would be kept for affordable housing, leaving options for developers who submit plans.

"We know it is important a component is set aside for affordable housing but I certainly understand the market principal is driving some of the highest and best uses for that land," Lundy told ABC 33/40.

It's also not clear yet, who will own the land.

"We have options where the housing authority has ownership," said Lundy. "We have options where the housing authority may not have much ownership. All of it really depends on the highest and best use for the land and how we can make all the numbers work."

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It's also not clear what the funding source will be. Lundy says many options are on the table including tax credits, bonds, and trying to leverage the value of the land.

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