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HUD finds flaws in Redevelopment Plan

 

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in response to a complaint filed by the Clarksville NAACP found numerous flaws in the Clarksville Center Redevelopment and Urban Renewal Plan voted into law by the City Council with full support of Mayor Johnny Piper.

HUD authorities could not find any proposed objectives that would provide protection for low to moderate income residents and their property mentioned in the voted on ordinance.

The Clarksville NAACP first bought these issues to the attention of the U.S. Department of Justice and HUD after feeling that the civil rights and the federally protected rights of the Majority Minority Voting Ward was in jeopardy of being dismantled under this voted on redevelopment plan.

The redevelopment plan offer tax increment financing (tax abatements) to encourage private development, and is focused on the downtown area, Kraft and College Streets. In a comparison with the city’s Five Year Consilidated Plan for Housing and Community Development, HUD field office director William Dirl determined that while the city’s five year plan has a goal of increasing affordable housing, the new redevelopment plan had no “proposed objective to assist with this priority and to provide housing rehabilitation to eligible property owners.”

The consolidated plan is drafted by the city with community input, and approved by HUD. No federal funds can be used for projects lacking HUD approval of falling within HUD parameters.

After an extensive investigation and a thorough review of the Clarksville Redevelopment and Urban Renewal Plan and after consultation with numerous government agencies, William H. Dirl, Field Office Director for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Nashville was able to determine the flaws of the redevelopment plan and issued a few recommendations to the City of Clarksville in writing.

Clarksville NAACP President Jimmie Garland Sr. had asked HUD to review the plan, citing concerns about the ” detrimental effect” this plan would have on the poor, elderly and (minority) residents” of the downtown district.

Dirl addressed that concern in his response:

“We could not find any proposed objective to assist with this priority and to provide housing rehabilitation to eligible property owners. We will recommend that an objective be included to provide housing rehabilitation assistance to eligible housing units. This should greatly relieve fears that housing units not meeting minimum codes standards will be immediately considered for demolition.”

It is hoped that the Clarksville City Council and Mayor Piper will work diligently to insure that the equal rights and civil rights of all individuals are protected under this ordinance regardless of race, creed, nationality or socially economic status.

This Community Press Release provided courtesy of the Urban Resource Center and Mr. Terry McMoore (931) 378-1999. Any and all questions about the NAACP should be referred to NAACP President Jimmie Garland Sr. (931) 216-6745.


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2 Responses to “HUD finds flaws in Redevelopment Plan”

  1. Turner McCullough Jr. Says:
    June 6th, 2008 at 4:40 pm

    Although many will read those recommendations as mere suggestions, consider their source. HUD is a federal agency with oversight of a vast sum of federal dollars. Any local favoritism which might be possible with contacts in Nashville will be negated by the required oversight of the regional director’s office in Atlanta. If the ordinance doesn’t meet HUD specifications, violates our own state code, Section 13, TCA, then a federal challenge is hanging over over our heads, like a weighted anvil on a shoestring. It’s not a question of ‘if it will drop,’ but rather when.

    Our legislative body was asked to do this the right way by the people. It chose to ignore their pleas and go their way. Now they have to go back and do as the people asked them in the first place. That anvil is starting to slip.

  2. Turner McCullough Jr. Says:
    June 6th, 2008 at 8:59 pm

    Sorry, need to post a correction: “…If the ordinance doesn’t meet HUD specifications, violates our own state code, Section 13, TCA, then a federal challenge is hanging over over our heads,”

    Should read: If the ordinance isn’t brought up to HUD specifications, and since it violates our own state code- Section 13, TCA, …”

    That anvil is still wearing that shoestring thin!

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