Crist Asks Feds to Review Jordan Park Proposal
U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist asked the Department of Housing and Urban Development to review plans to raze the historic housing complex and replace it with a mid-rise building.
WASHINGTON, DC – Reacting to concerns from residents and local officials, U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, D-St. Petersburg, has asked federal housing officials to review plans to demolish Jordan Park and replace it with a mid-rise building.
Crist’s request came Friday (July 20), the same day several local elected officials called a press conference to protest the proposal. They also criticized the decision by the St. Petersburg Housing Authority to force residents to move because of that proposal.
Crist said he wrote the letter to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development because he shares those concerns. He suggested HUD secretary Ben Carson visit Jordan Park to better understand its meaning to St. Petersburg’s African-American community and the ongoing controversy.
July 20, 2018
The Honorable Ben Carson, Secretary
United States Department of Housing and Urban Development
Dear Secretary Carson:
I write to give voice to my community’s concerns about Jordan Park, a vibrant housing complex under the administration of St. Petersburg Housing Authority. By way of background, Jordan Park was named after Elder Jordan, Sr., who gifted the 26-acre property to the City of St. Petersburg to be used for decent, affordable housing for the city’s African American population. To this day, Jordan Park remains extremely important to our city and, as your staff knows all too well, to me personally. Within six weeks of taking office, I sat with officials at HUD headquarters to advocate for increased resources to complete overdue repairs and renovations.
After taking control of Jordan Park, St. Petersburg Housing Authority developed a plan in coordination with HUD to replace Historic Village with a new, mid-rise building, including dozens of additional affordable units. Recently, local community leaders and elected officials have raised red flags with this plan. Among their concerns are demolishing Historic Village, the original housing built in the 1930s, and the inability of some displaced Historic Village seniors to find decent housing with the Housing Choice Vouchers they were given.
1. Please review St. Petersburg Housing Authority’s plan to redevelop areas of Jordan Park and work with administrators to address concerns from the community.
2. Why is it so difficult for my constituents with Housing Choice Vouchers to find decent housing? What is HUD doing to improve the Housing Choice Voucher Program? What can municipalities do to fight discrimination against source of income?
3. Finally, I would like to invite you to visit Jordan Park. Once you have seen the beauty, challenges, and opportunities of the property firsthand, you will truly understand why Jordan Park means so much to our community.
Thank you for your attention. I look forward to your engagement on this important issue.
UNITED STATES CONGRESSMAN
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