The City of Champaign approved an intergovernmental agreement Tuesday night with the Housing Authority of Champaign County for the first phase of the redevelopment of Bristol Place Neighborhood.
This first phase includes relocating residents and buying and clearing residential property in the Bristol Park area, which is an area bounded by Bradley Avenue to Shadow Wood Mobile Home Park, Market Street and a set of railroad tracks to the east. According to a city resolution, there are about 80 structures within the area, mostly residential.
The Housing Authority approved a draft intergovernmental agreement on Nov. 15, according to city documents. The Housing Authority would contribute just over $1 million for the first phase of the project to help with relocation efforts, according to city documents.
This move received earlier criticism from low-income housing advocates, who protested that doing so would take away housing opportunities for the neediest Champaign residents.
Yet a small group of Bristol Place residents who attended the city council meeting Tuesday night said they were happy the plan is moving forward.
The next phase includes plans to develop the area into affordable housing as part of a tri-party effort between the City of Champaign, the Housing Authority and a mutually accepted developer.
The relocation process is estimated to take three years but city staff will begin interviewing affected residents in early January. The first purchases aren’t expected until July.
Champaign City Council members also approved an amendment to the Bristol Park Neighborhood Plan to reflect the agreement with the Housing Authority.
Read our past coverage on this issue:
University of Illinois journalism students in a multi-media class lead by Charles “Stretch” Ledford, an assistant professor in the College of Media, visited with some residents in Bristol Place to produce this collection of portraits.
By Robert Holly/For CU-CitizenAccess — For more than a month, community members have waited for The Housing Authority of Champaign County’s board of commissioners to reach a decision on Resolution 2012-27.
The resolution proposes to rank applicants on the waiting list for housing vouchers on preferences in addition to a random lottery. There are currently 400 low-income people on the waiting list for the vouchers that will assist them in paying for housing.
By Robert Holly/CU-CitizenAccess – Community members told the Housing Authority of Champaign County this week that it was wrong to reserve vouchers for planned redevelopment projects while 400 families and individuals remain on a waiting list for those vouchers.
Esther Patt, director of the Champaign-Urbana Tenant Union, questioned why authority officials are holding onto vouchers when there are families who are in dire need of immediate assistance.
By Robert Holly/CU-CitizenAccess — Several community members plan to voice concerns Thursday over a set of housing vouchers that are being held in reserve while 400 low-income households are kept on a waiting list.
The Housing Authority of Champaign County said earlier this month that it had 233 “housing choice vouchers” in reserve to provide assistance for those households displaced by redevelopment projects.