JAMESTOWN – The city of Jamestown’s Housing Committee has received an update on the various activities being undertaking by a local organization focused on neighborhood improvements and housing availability in the city.
Patrick Morris, executive director of Citizen’s Opportunity for Development and Equality, Inc. – better known as CODE – spend more than half an hour detailing the various projects and initiatives being undertaken by his organization.
Morris went over more than a dozen different efforts CODE is involved with, ranging from the development of a community park near the Appleyard Terrace housing development on Second St – which CODE manages, to the effort to build another housing complex on the north side of town known as the Jackson Spring housing project. He also discussed various programs CODE offers for city residents, including owner-occupied home improvement programs as well as a homebuyer program that focuses on available residential properties in the city in need of attention.
In regard to the Jackson Springs project, which will be developed by the NRP Group but managed by CODE, Morris said they are still working on securing funding but it appears the project is being met with support.
The application has received very strong support from the state and strong support from the neighborhood,” Morris said. “Under this development we will be demolishing eight buildings. It will be 27 apartments and 54 bedrooms. Over half of the families in the city will be eligible to live there. It’s open to a wide range of people in the city with rents up to $700 a month and eligible for people with incomes up to $36,940 a year.”
About a dozen residents were in attendance for the committee meeting to hear from Morris and committee chair Marie Carrubba allowed for attendees to ask questions. One residents asked if the housing project would result in more crime, and said that’s what happened after the Appleyard Terrace project was completed.
Morris said she was misinformed, adding that CODE has a zero tolerance policy when it comes to its tenants and criminal activity and as a result, residents at Appleyard and other CODE managed properties are not the ones committing crime in the city.
“The crime has nothing to do with us,” Morris said. “We have significantly lower crime than the community, in general and fixing up that neighborhood, working with the neighbors on our owner-occupy rehab program to remove those houses that are there, that are just in deplorable condition, will be a significant upgrade for the neighborhood and reduce crime for that neighborhood.”
If the Jackson Springs project moves forward, it will also make a payment in lieu of taxes that would actually be higher than what the current properties are paying. If built, the proposed development would be located on Spring St., between 8th and Crossman Streets.