(MURFREESBORO) The City of Murfreesboro is working to create more affordable homes for low-income families. A "come and go" format public workshop dealing with the redevelopment of Oakland Court is scheduled from 4:00 to 6:00PM Tuesday, April 23, 2019, at the Murfreesboro Housing Authority (MHA), 415 North Maple Street.
Mayor Shane McFarland commented . . .
Then at 5:00 o'clock Thursday evening, April 25, there will be a public meeting to gain community input on draft plans for the redevelopment project.
Oakland Court is a 76-home public housing neighborhood on approximately 20 acres that is located between North Academy and Maney Avenues.
If adequate funding is secured, plans call for the 76 homes that are currently in Oakland Court to be replaced with brand new homes, and for another 74 homes to be added there, along with overall improvements to the neighborhood.
The Oakland Court Redevelopment Master Plan is the first in a multi-phase, multi-year process that will also include the redevelopment of Mercury Court and Parkside, two more Murfreesboro public housing neighborhoods.
This is all being done under HUD's RAD program. Funding for the master plan and construction will be by secured loans and Low Income Housing Tax Credits issued by the Tennessee Housing Development Agency, if MHA's funding applications are approved.
If enough funding can be secured over time, likely six to eight years, Mercury Court and Parkside, two additional public housing neighborhoods in Murfreesboro, also will be redeveloped.
Oakland Court is managed by the Murfreesboro Housing Authority, which is responsible for maintenance and upkeep of the homes, all of which are rented to residents.
Families living in public housing managed by MHA pay 30 percent of their income for rent and utilities.
Murfreesboro Housing Authority ChairmanCharlie Teasley said, "We heard from a large number of people during the first phase of meetings in March. We especially appreciated hearing from our residents about the value of a front porch, for instance, as this is a comment we heard over and over again.
Reductions in federal funding for public housing are driving redevelopment of public housing in Murfreesboro and across the nation.
MHA Executive Director Thomas Rowe commented, "We encourage the community to come to both of these meetings to see what is being proposed to expand and upgrade affordable housing in Murfreesboro. This is a big step for our city. We are working toward an end result of a brand new neighborhood at Oakland Court with new homes, sidewalks, a community building and other nice amenities for residents."
What happens after the master plan is complete?
After the master plan is created and made final, and funding is secured, plans call for 30 families currently living at Oakland Court to relocate to temporary housing for approximately 12 to 18 months.
During that time, in Phase I, 76 new homes will be built where the existing 30 homes previously stood. Once the 76 homes are complete, the 30 residents who relocated and 46 Oakland Court residents who remained on the property during the first phase of construction will move to the 76 new replacement homes in Oakland Court, completing Phase I by a projected date of December 2021.
In Phase II, 74 additional homes will be added for a total of 150 homes at Oakland Court, almost doubling the number of homes available there to qualified families. After these 74 homes are complete, families living in Mercury Court, a public housing neighborhood located on Hancock Street in Murfreesboro, will relocate to new housing at Oakland Court.
After the Mercury Court residents relocate to Oakland Court, the approximately 15 acres at Mercury Court will be redeveloped to include additional affordable and mixed income housing, as well as possible commercial development.
Complement The Surrounding Community
"Our goal is to design a new neighborhood at Oakland Court, complete with new homes that blend with the surrounding area, while also expanding the number of affordable homes for Murfreesboro," said Margaret Butler, AIA, LEED AP, Principal and Vice President, McCarty Holsaple McCarty of Knoxville, Tennessee. Butler leads a team of firms working on the Phase I master plan, including Butler; Richard Foster, AIA, LAP, Director of Design, McCarty Holsaple McCarty; Randy Caldwell, R.L.A., LEED AP, Executive Vice President, and Kevin Guenther, P.L.A., LEED AP, Associate, Ragan Smith Associates of Murfreesboro; Bill Huddleston, P.E., R.L.S., Huddleston Steele Engineering, Inc. of Murfreesboro; Phyllis Vaughn and Phillip Vaughn, CPA, Vaughn Development Group, Inc. of Nashville; and Terri Sterling Donovan, APR, Principal, Sterling Communications of Murfreesboro.
"When complete, we will have the same mix of home sizes at Oakland Court as we do now," Butler said. "We envision nice streets, homes with front porches that are closer to sidewalks lining each street, and other improvements."
Again--the Public Workshop about Oakland Court Redevelopment Master Plan is open to the community from 4-6PM on Tuesday, April 23, 2019, in the Maple Room of the Murfreesboro Housing Authority, Maple Room 415 North Maple Street.
Updated plans will be shared with participants, and feedback will be collected. Public Open House What: Oakland Court Redevelopment Master Plan Who: The public is invited and encouraged to attend. This will be from 4-6PM Thursday afternoon, April 25, 2019, at the same location.