Lincoln Park Apartments begins transformation

Jordan Crawford | 8/11/2014, 9:34 a.m.
Hampton Redevelopment and Housing Authority (HRHA) is working to move tenants out of Lincoln Park Apartments in order to begin ...

Last August, The Voice reported Lincoln Park Apartments, Hampton’s largest apartment complex, was to be demolished. This year, the Hampton Redevelopment and Housing Authority (HRHA) has worked to move tenants out of the public housing community to begin demolition.

Those tenants are given vouchers to move anywhere they like within acceptable standards of U.S. Department of Urban Housing’s Section 8 program.

“We’re able to accommodate every situation that comes to us,” HRHA Executive Director Ronald Jackson said. “Section 8 vouchers are a different animal than public housing. It can be complex.”

HRHA staff says large high-rise apartment complexes are no longer seen as an acceptable model for housing authorities.

The housing authority plans to demolish the tower and low-rise buildings at Lincoln Park to redevelop the property with town homes, garden-style apartments, a community center and a park area. A consultant hired to coordinate the plan also recommends that HRHA build infill housing— the insertion of additional homes into an already approved subdivision or neighborhood—on property it owns nearby along Carolina and Georgia streets to promote home-ownership opportunities.

As that process takes place, the Hampton NAACP has criticized the lack of housing fairs and resources available to Lincoln Park tenants.

HRHA Executive Director Ronald Jackson said more fairs are being scheduled and relocation experts will set up a table on the property to answer questions.

Here’s an update concerning the relocation:

• To date, HRHA has received 187 housing vouchers for tenants;

• Tenants have vacated 75 units in the high rise tower;

• 24 tower units are still occupied. Of those, 18 have found new places to live and are completing paperwork;

• The fifth floor of the tower is now vacant;

• Tenants are mainly relocating to Hampton and Newport News, although some are moving to North Carolina, New York, Norfolk and Richmond;

• HRHA officials expect the tower to be vacated by the end of August or early September;

• Within the low rise apartments, just three of the 153 units have been vacated; and

• Tenants in 23 low rise units are completing paperwork and inspections to move.

There are 256 school-age children living on the property and HRHA is working with those families to make sure their children are registered at the proper schools.

The Hampton NAACP and the Lincoln Park Residence Council hosted a relocation housing fair from last Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Suzanne E. Jones Community Center Gym on the Lincoln Park property.

The National Association of Real Estate Brokers, Hampton City Schools, Department of Social Services, HRHA and other resources will be available for residents’ needs.