Fort Worth

Is this historic Fort Worth public housing project headed for the wrecking ball?

The J.A. Cavile Place apartments may be headed for the wrecking ball.

The board of commissioners for Fort Worth Housing Solutions has scheduled a public hearing at 6 p.m. Thursday to discuss the “demolition and disposition of the J.A. Cavile public housing property and a plan to relocate the families presently at Cavile by using Section 8 Tenant Protection Vouchers.”

The agenda states “these actions would be taken to facilitate the comprehensive redevelopment of the property and surrounding community.”

Cavile Place, at 1401 Etta St., has 300 units and needs $42 million in repairs. Without funding, the property will continue to deteriorate, according to Fort Worth Housing Solutions.

“The results of that report were determined to be beyond the scope of capital resources,” Mary-Margaret Lemons, president of Fort Worth Housing Solutions.

“Therefore we are proceeding with the application to dispose of Cavile Place and will apply for tenant protection vouchers for all residents to be relocated.”

Four public meetings are being held and plans have been discussed with stakeholders and distributed in an e-newsletter, Lemons said.

Fort Worth City councilwoman Gyna Bivens applauded the move as the nation tries to “shift away from compound-style public housing.”

But Bivens said it will be important to see how the effort is carried out.

“The key for me is how will the people who live in Cavile today respond to this and where will they go,” Bivens said.

There are also plans to redevelop Cavile and the surrounding neighborhoods. Fort Worth Housing Solutions says it “intends to honor the spirit of the 2013 Cavile Place Neighborhood Transformation Plan.”

For more than 17 years, Fort Worth Housing Solutions has been trying to change public housing in Fort Worth.

The change began when it sold the former Ripley Arnold public housing complex at Belknap and Henderson streets to RadioShack Corp., which is now owned by the Tarrant County College District.

That $20 million sale gave the housing authority the money to move forward on the decentralization of low-income people in one place.

Bill Hanna: 817-390-7698, @ fwhanna
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