Friday, December 28, 2007

Protesters Want New Housing For Displaced Residents

Joe Billups worries that lost amid Miami's changing landscape of gleaming high-rises, of planned waterfront museums and a proposed baseball stadium is . . . housing for the poor.

So he joined a coalition of activists and residents at the corner of Northwest 72nd Street and 22nd Avenue Monday morning at a rally to demand that government officials tend to unfinished business -- at least 850 homes -- promised by county officials to the former residents of the Scott and Carver housing projects.

''We're tired of being lied to,'' Billups said. ``My back is worn down from helping to build high-rises I can't even visit.'' Billups and others called the recent approval of a $2 billion makeover for Miami -- featuring a new stadium, a tunnel to the Port of Miami and a park that would become the new address for two museums -- a case of misplaced priorities.

About 40 people in all protested in front of the last remaining building -- now a historic landmark -- of the Scott and Carver Homes, which were demolished in 2001. ''We had a sense of community before they took it from us,'' said Cora Lipscomb, a former resident who was homeless for a year after the demolition.

Residents believed they had won when Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Alvarez promised earlier this year to build more than 800 units in and around the Scott Carver site.

Alvarez's pitch helped persuade many residents to side with the county as county leaders tried to prevent a takeover of its scandal-plagued housing agency by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Vanessa Arellano Doctor

No comments: