Thursday, March 14, 2019

Demolition of Griffin Park neighborhood in West Orlando is still on hold

Posted By on Thu, Mar 14, 2019 at 3:32 PM

click to enlarge Griffin Park - PHOTO VIA GOOGLE MAPS
  • Photo via Google Maps
  • Griffin Park
It may be years until the more than 300 Griffin Park residents in West Orlando receive housing relief, even as they struggle with ongoing conditions such as mold, rats and alleged air-quality issues.

In June, the Orlando Housing Authority announced plans to demolish Griffin Park, a Parramore neighborhood located just southwest of downtown, and in the middle of the I-4 Ultimate construction project.

But during a Wednesday meeting with residents recorded by local news website 32805 OrlNews, Orlando Housing Authority president and CEO Vivian Bryant said the project is still on hold, and the process could take anywhere between three to 10 years.

However, in a video presented during the meeting, she also stated that residents will not be forced to move, and that the OHA will not demolish their buildings until suitable housing is provided.

"The first step is for us to approve this information in the plan that we will give to [the Department of Housing and Urban Development] with a request for demolition," Bryant said. "We don't know how many of the sites HUD will approve. They may not approve any."

Bryant stated that the OHA will develop a strategy for how to move forward after they know exactly what HUD's plans are with the site.

"What HUD is saying to us is that they don't have the money to continue to fund the public housing program, to take care of the physical needs," Bryant said. "What happens if we don't receive the funds from them? Well, we'll have to find funds from some other place or we won't have the housing that we would like to have, in the shape that we would like to have."

During the meeting, Orlando City Commissioner Regina Hill, District 5, assured residents that they're working to have their needs met.

"Of course we do want quality housing for all, and we do know that all our apartment homes are outdated ... and we do know that they need a major overhaul," Hill said.

Hill continued by saying what she doesn't want is for Griffin Park to be demolished and destroyed but instead renovated. She called it a historic site and proposed that offices representing the area, from congressional members to the state Legislature and city government, form a delegation as a response.

"Not in Orlando will you be taking our affordable housing," Hill said. "So I can tell you, Mayor Dyer, that my stance is not to dislocate not one person in Parramore."

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