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Hanna: Without Addressing Housing, South City Revitalization Remains Elusive

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.

The Leon County School District has agreed to partner with the Southside Foundation to provide greater support to Hartsfield Elementary School. Leaders hope the plan will sway Purpose Built Communities to join the city in revamping the Orange Avenue Apartments. But Superintendent Rocky Hanna says without the housing part, the plan is still a ways away.

“We want to be involved we want to participate and we want to help…I think the frustrating thing to me is, there’s been a lot of dialogue. We’re glad we entered the MOU [memorandum of understanding], but not having the housing piece and other fundamental components that are vital to the program, is concerning to us," he said.

The city wanted to begin revamping Orange Avenue Apartments this summer but didn’t get funding for the project. The rebuild has also been tied to bringing the Purpose Built Communities program to the city. Purpose Built focuses on improvements to housing and education to reduce crime.