Orange Avenue Apartments

An aerial rendering of what a revamped Orange Avenue Apartments development would look like (2018).
Tallahassee Housing Authority

A previously stalled effort to bring a community revitalization program to Tallahassee’s South city recently appeared to get a boost. But one key stakeholder says without addressing affordable housing, the idea could grind to a halt.

Hartsfield Elementary School
Blaise Gainey / WFSU-FM

The Leon County School Board and the South City Foundation have entered into an agreement to revitalize the area. The community is one of the most troubled neighborhoods in Tallahassee, with nearly 70% of residents living under the poverty level. The revitalization involves creating mixed-income housing, enhancing the education system, and providing health and wellness programs and facilities to the area. This agreement was one of the final steps for South City to work with Purpose Built Communities.

Outside of Charles R. Drew Charter School
Blaise Gainey / WFSU-FM

Residents of one Atlanta neighborhood say a change occurred when the 1996 Olympics came to the city. Most call that change gentrification, but in one crime-ridden area nicknamed “Little Vietnam” the city managed to renovate and improve the area without removing its residents. It’s now a national model for cradle-to-college education with safe streets and better quality housing for low-income families.

Now, a group of Tallahassee advocates and local officials are trying to bring the model to the Southside, but there is a disconnect with the school district, a major player.

John Dailey speaks into a microphone as he looks out at the press.
Robbie Gaffney / WFSU-FM

Tallahassee Mayor John Dailey is nearing the end of his first 100 days in office and he’s trying to change the way the city is run.