Councilor Tyson: Loveman Village Redevelopment a ‘Shot in the Arm,” for Community
Across the street from several recently razed lots near Loveman Village, Councilor Sheila Tyson spoke to citizens and members of the media about the important economic opportunities that will come when the public housing community in District 6 is redeveloped.
The $23 million project — of which $17 million has been secured through a low-income tax program — will break ground within the coming weeks and will feature 164 new units on site, and an additional 120 off-site units. Officials with the Housing Authority Birmingham District (HABD) have also said the newly redeveloped community will feature a day care center and an educational workforce development building for residents.
“We wanted to bring opportunities to the people,” Tyson said. “After people started to realize what this meant for the community, we’ve had people cry because they never thought they’d have a chance for an education in this area. They never thought they’d have a training to be able to get a job that pays $20 an hour. We want the best for the people living here.”
Michael Lundy, president of HABD, praised Tyson and her role in helping the project move forward. Several buildings that are already on site will be refurbished to house the new day care center and workforce development facility, Lundy explained during his remarks to reporters.
“We’re going to refurbish two of the buildings we have now and build an additional community center,” Lundy said, adding that HABD is working with the Jefferson County Committee for Economic Opportunity on raising funds for the new facilities and services. “The workforce aspect will help residents with job readiness and skills needed to prepare themselves to work and eventually be financially able to move out of public housing.”
Several lots that are currently across the street from Loveman Village will also feature new housing. Completed in 1952, Loveman Village is comprised of 500 units and is currently 64 percent occupied.
Tyson referred to the redevelopment as a much needed shot in the arm for the community. “We’re looking to redevelop people. It’s not so much a brick and mortar issue. It’s about giving people the chance to succeed. Once the old buildings are gone and the beautiful new ones are up, I think it will help change people’s outlook on life,” Tyson said.
Some of the opportunities that will be available, according to Tyson, will be a 12 to 18 month program that will provide job readiness and help graduates earn a living wage, scholarship opportunities for people seeking a bachelor’s degree, and programs to help people on the path to home and business ownership.
This article is a contribution from Cody Owens (firstname.lastname@example.org) in the Birmingham City Council Public Information Office. For more information please contact 205.254.2294.