White Plains Housing Authority begins Brookfield Commons expansionPosted: Updated:
The White Plains Housing Authority celebrated a benchmark in construction to increase the amount of affordable housing Friday.
The group began expansion to the existing Winbrook Houses, now known as 'Brookfield Commons,' and plans to build a nine-story tour that will house 129 units.
"We are trying to kill off stigma of public housing, which has always been relatively negative in the past 40-50 years. That people are poor, they are selfish, that they don't communicate, that they don't want to work. That is not the case," says Mack Carter, executive director of White Plains Housing Authority.
White Plains Housing Authority is guaranteeing at least 90 families to get into the new building once it is up.
The upcoming project will give preference to residents currently living at the complex. No one will be displaced.
Regional Housing and Urban Development Administrator Lynn Patton tells News 12 that this is a step in the right direction.
"The only way to move forward with housing and affordable housing preservation is to keep everyone in place," Patton said. "And to make sure we don't have to relocate anybody when it comes to these great opportunities."
Residents who lived in the complex were moved to their first mixed-use housing complex and other residencies on the campus.
Some residents like 64-year-old Desiree Smith aren't confident in the idea.
"If this is a part of housing, White Plains Housing Authority and we are all tenants -- why do we have to go through credit checks in order to obtain an apartment in one of the newer buildings?" says Smith.
Construction of the Overture Housing Developing will take approximately 24 months with an opening date in fall 2020.