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What’s next in the plan to demolish Dogwood Terrace?

Published: May. 12, 2022 at 6:26 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - New details on the demolition of an Augusta public housing complex. A week ago, we learned about plans to demolish and redevelop the Dogwood Terrace Apartments on Old Savannah Road.

Thursday, the Augusta Housing Authority sat down with the people who live there about the next steps.

We spoke with several residents just after the meeting, most of them say tearing down Dogwood is probably for the best, but some are worried when bulldozers come in, there won’t be any place for them to go.

“We would not have started this process to feel like we had a good chance of having this happen,” said Douglass Freeman, deputy executive director, AHA.

The plan is to tear down Dogwood Terrace next year and begin redevelopment.

“More affordable housing. Better affordable housing, new affordable housing for the residents that are here and, in the community,” he said.

If the demolition is approved current residents will have to move out. They can either choose getting placed in another public housing unit or get a Section 8 voucher and find their own home.

“We’re going to be talking to you about this whole process,” said Freeman.

In the middle of a housing crisis, with a Section 8 waitlist of over 3,000, the question is, why now?

Kendra Sanders, Dogwood resident said: “How true is it that when you get the Section 8 vouchers is hard to find a place? That’s what I’m concerned about.”

Freeman said: “That currently is a challenge.”

The Housing Authority says the timing is perfect because it aligns with the progress of the last apartments torn down.

Cherry Tree Crossing was demolished about six years ago. They’re building new units there now. Many residents say they’ve had enough of the crime in Dogwood.

Another Dogwood resident said: “I was in a car leaving the store up here, my grandson sitting in the backseat, the car was shot in, in the back window.”

All they can do is hope this change is for the better. The Housing Authority told residents they would also cover the cost of relocation expenses when and if that time comes.

They’ll also hold meetings with individual families to help them decide which relocation option is best for them.

Additional Information

  • The demolition is not final. The Housing Authority has to submit the application and get it approved by HUD first. That could take until the end of the year. Once approved, demolition would start in June or July of 2023.
  • The property will not be sold, it’ll be redeveloped into new affordable housing.
  • Children will have to attend whatever new school they are zoned for after the relocation. Parents do have the option of keeping them at Jenkins White, however, transportation will not be available.

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