UPDATE: Cherry Tree Crossing neighborhood to be torn down

By: Hope Jensen Email
By: Hope Jensen Email
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News 12 at 11 o'clock / Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2013

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- More than 350 families are about to start looking for a new place to live after the Augusta Housing Authority announced it's going to demolish Cherry Tree Crossing.

The housing project has been here for around 60 years, and officials say it's time to move the families into a newer place.

"I'm happy; I didn't think it was actually gonna happen, but it is," said Zaesha Hunter.

On Wednesday, she and her family got the news that Cherry Tree Crossing will be demolished and they'll be moving.

"I think it's a great idea. I think it will give everybody a new chance, a new start," she said.

She's lived there for six months and says it's not the crime that has her ready to move.

"There hasn't really been any crime out here since I've been here and my kids feel safe to come outside and play," Hunter said.

It's the 60-year-old buildings that have her ready for a change.

"The heat is horrible in these buildings and it would be good for central air for most people, especially the old people, to be in apartments with central air," she said.

She's not the only one who feels that way.

"You put an air conditioning unit in your window and it's like it's not even there practically," said Elischa Scott, who has lived in Cherry Tree for 48 years. "It's just home to me."

She says she'll be sad to leave but hopes to come back to a better home here one day.

"I was raised right here in Sunset and I hate to leave it, but they say they're gonna remodel it and put it back together and I hope I can come back," Scott said.

The Housing Authority is giving residents a 90-day notice beginning Thursday.

Each family has three options: They can move to another public housing development, get a Section 8 voucher or move out on their own.

"There's a lot of young kids and a lot of young females like myself out here so that will be great for us to get out to a new venture, a new place and a better environment for our children," Scott said.

Hunter says the choice will be easy.

"I would like to do the Section 8 where I can get a home for me and my children. Where we can have a backyard and a front yard for them."

Hunter says another deciding factor will be the school system because almost all of the kids in that area will now be moving to a new school.

The Housing Authority will hold meetings for all the people who live there Thursday at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. in the complex community center.

They say they'll start moving them out on Nov. 7. That should take between six and nine months. After that, the demolition and then another four to five years before they will be able to complete the new mixed-income housing they have planned for that area.

Initial report:

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- Augusta's Cherry Tree Crossing neighborhood will soon be torn down.

The national HUD office approved the plan on Monday to relocate 350 families out of the complex. The demolition phase will begin when everyone has been moved out.

Mixed-income housing will be built in the complex's place, which is off 15th Street just south of Wrightsboro Road.

Tenants will be given three options: Move into a different public housing unit, receive a Section 8 voucher or move out of the the system.

Tenant meetings will be held Thursday, with one at 10 a.m. and another at 4 p.m. in the community room at Cherry Tree Crossing.

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