Chattanooga Affordable Housing Meeting Causes Debate

Reported by: Caitlyn Jones
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Updated: 10/11/2013 1:00 pm
        Residents and council members came out to express their feelings about affordable housing.
      The Chattanooga Housing Authority is set to accept a bid on the Harriet Tubman property, but residents are worried about what the property will become.
     Even though the city withdrew it's bid to tear down the property and create and economic development site, some citizens weren't happy with the city council's overall vision.
        "Certain people in the Mayor's office and city council have to explain how they came up with the idea for Harriet Tubman property and east Chattanooga community when many people in East Chattanooga did not want that for their community," said Perrin Lance, Executive Director of Chattanooga Organized for Action.
     The West Side Community Association pushed an Affordable housing ordinance for people to sign.
     They believe it's a solution to the problem.
        "The affordable housing ordinance does not create new public housing, in stead it tells developers in Chattanooga, if you're gonna make luxury condos, if you're gonna come to Chattanooga and if you're gonna develop, we appreciate that, we thank you, but you need to set aside some units for affordable hosing for low income people," Lance said.
        Council member Moses Freeman says he saw the ordinance last year when it was first presented to them, and thinks it will discourage development in Chattanooga.
        "This will stop the growth all together and therefore our downtown will not grow in any area," said Freeman.
     Freeman says he wasn't pleased with the overall tone of the meeting.
      "I think it was by a group of individuals that wanted to embarrass city council.  People to support what they perceive to be the perfect answer to the solution," said Freeman, "They also wanted to brow beat us over the head in a public forum and that's what they did and we were a little upset about it."

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