The Milton Housing Authority’s multi-story units at James and Byrom streets will be coming down in the near future.
“The properties are substandard and need to be repaired,” Milton City Manager Brian Watkins said. “It is in pretty bad shape.”
Watkins said the property has issues with the heating, ventilation and air conditioning, as well as with the plumbing and floors.
While the property is located inside the city limits, the apartments are actually owned by the housing authority. A board was appointed to manage funds that were received from Housing and Urban Development (HUD). It was the board that first looked at the issue a year ago.
Though crime has occasionally been a problem in the area, Watkins says it was not a deciding factor on whether the housing should be demolished.
“I did have a conversation with the police chief,” Watkins said, “and there have not been as many significant calls there. There were problems with a party last summer, but mostly it is minor crimes you might find anywhere.”
Built more than 30 years ago, Watkins said it is not the only HUD property. Astor Village is another neighborhood owned by HUD, and there are others, including some one-story places near the targeted apartments.
Rent vouchers have been given to qualifying families who were living at the multi-story units and they have relocated. The units are now vacant. Watkins says meters have been pulled from the property and the demolition company has been chosen. It is likely a matter of days before the apartments will be torn down.
Once the apartments are demolished and removed, Watkins said the property will not be left abandoned. “One suggestion I’ve heard is a retirement facility may go in.”