Huntsville's largest Housing Authority property could soon close

A school board member said they were told Wednesday that the Governors Drive property will be shut down.

Posted: Aug 29, 2019 5:17 PM

Rumors are circling at Butler Terrace of a possible shutdown.

While most people we talked to have heard about the possibility, they aren't sure what's next. WAAY 31 spent the day trying to find that out.

"It would be devastating," Jack Anderson said.

In the last month, Anderson says he picked up a maintenance job at Butler Terrace. He says he's concerned about the possible closure.

"I hope they would hold on to some of the employees that are working here," he said.

Sail Mitchell says the public housing development is dangerous, and shutting it down could be a good thing.

"It ain't fun for the kids. The kids can't play in peace," said Mitchell.

A Huntsville City Schools board member, Michelle Watkins, said the board was informed of the closure during a hearing with a federal judge on the district's desegregation measures. A closure would impact the district because more than 300 residents and their children would have to relocate.

Students who live there could end up in different zones. We tried to get answers from the Huntsville Housing Authority and the mayor's office. When we stopped by the Housing Authority office near Butler Terrace, a youth service representative said Butler Terrace is not closing and directed us to their press representative. We've left a message with that representative, but haven't heard back.

A city spokesperson said the authority has applied for a grant that would give them money to rebuild some public housing. We asked Mitchell where his family would go if Butler Terrace closed down.

"I don't know. I don't know," he said.

The Housing Authority is already in the process of shutting down Sparkman Homes. More than 100 families with school-aged children live there and have been given vouchers to find other places to live.

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