Community reacts to pending Cherry Tree Crossing demolition

News 12 @ 6 o'clock/ Tuesday, July 8, 2014


(WRDW) --

Cherry Tree Crossing is on it's way down. The beginning stages of demolition are underway, crews were out there today clearing out the properties, getting them ready to come down. Everyone has already moved out, and the place is empty but a lot of folks told News 12, the place still holds a lot of memories.

Brenda Givens spent her whole life in Cherry Tree Crossing. "I stayed over there thirty years before I moved," she said. Even though these houses are empty, she still calls it home.

But now the doors are locked, the windows are boarded up, and all that's left is the memory of an address. "Maybe it's for the best, but I hate that they did it, "Givens said.

With Cherry Tree gone, the wait list to get into public housing has sky rocketed. Almost six thousand people are waiting for public housing, nearly five thousand for Section 8. The waiting list is so long, no one new has been able to get on the Section 8 housing list since 2011. And that likely won't change, the list isn't expected to reopen until at least 2017.

A wait Givens is familiar with, and is scared to experience again. She spent two long years on the list for public housing, until she finally got a phone call. "I ran out the door, I was crying, I'm getting an apartment! I'm going into housing. Thank you Lord! I couldn't ask for no more," she said.

But it's going to be a long time before a lot of folks will feel the same. So she has one piece of advice. "It only took patience," she said.

The housing authority says demolition could start as early as tomorrow. As for other public housing projects, there aren't any plans in the works, at least right now, to renovate. But, even if leaders did decide to do some work, the earliest that could happen would be two years from now.

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