TERRE HAUTE —
Residents of Deming Center Tuesday received notice of a tenant meeting from the Low Income Housing Development Corp. to discuss its plans to transfer project-based Section 8 rent subsidy from the center at Sixth and Cherry streets to Warren Village on 25th Street.
The tenant meeting is slated for noon June 28 in the center’s dining room.
The notice states the corporation is proposing to the U.S. Housing and Urban Development to transfer the rent subsidy upon completion of Warren Village’s construction in late 2014 or early 2015.
The village will be a renovation of the former Warren Elementary School at 1300 N. 25th St.
Deming Center, with 109 apartment units, is owned by the Low Income Housing Development Corp., formed by the Terre Haute Housing Authority on Sept. 8, 2009. That corporation also owns Garfield Gardens, a 60-unit facility, and seven stand-alone houses.
The Low Income Housing Development Corp. “will prepare and adopt a relocation plan and will consider the comments and suggestions received from both the residents and the residents’ association,” the notice states. “Once adopted, this plan will be made available to each resident who currently occupies this complex (Deming) to help explain the rights, protections, services, moving assistance and housing choices that may be available,” the notice states.
One Deming Center resident, James Hehman, does not like the idea of moving. He said all residents Tuesday received the notice of a tenant meeting on their apartment doors.
Hehman moved into Deming Center in December 1997.
“It is not a good idea to go [to a renovated] Warren School,” Hehman said, “because there is a possibility of people breaking in and stealing stuff. That neighborhood is very bad, period. They would have to put up more than a fence, but also have cameras and security.
“I have put my applications in many long months ago at several other places in town to keep away from going up there, but have not heard anything on them,” Hehman said.
Hehman said he thinks Deming Center is adequate.
“All they have to do at Deming Center right now is replace the elevators and the building would be in good shape,” Hehman said. “Some people say the building is too old and crummy. My room is real nice and is neat and I don’t have any trouble whatsoever in there,” he said.
Patricia Parker-Zaikovsky, chair of the Housing Authority’s board of directors and a director of the low-income corporation, said the former school is not in a bad neighborhood. “What we will do here will upgrade and boost the neighborhood,” Parker-Zaikovsky said.
“I know people in Deming Center are used to having conveniences in walking distance. There is vacant property on the east side of 25th Street and I would not be surprised if we end up with a convenience store there. It is the saying: Build it and they will come,” Parker-Zaikovsky said.
“I think once tenants see how much nicer their apartments will be, that will make a world of difference,” she said. “They layout will be better.”
Parker-Zaikovsky said the tenant meeting on June 28 will describe tenants’ federal housing rights, which includes paying to move tenants to the renovated Warren Village. “If they don’t want to move there, we will attempt to find some place that is satisfactory to them. The meeting will explain the time frame and what should work out to be something that they are all very happy with,” Parker-Zaikovsky said.
The tenant notice reminded residents to keep up their financial obligations.
The notice states residents are not yet to move and that moving prior to receiving instruction to do so will make the resident ineligible for moving assistance.
“You should continue to pay your monthly rent and to comply with your lease terms and conditions since failure to pay rent and meet your obligations as a resident may be cause for eviction and loss of relocation assistance,” the notice states.
“If this proposal is approved, Deming Center will no longer be operated as an affordable apartment community. At that time, every Deming Center resident will have the opportunity to move to Warren Village or to any other decent, safe and sanitary housing of your choice,” the notice states.
Reporter Howard Greninger can be reached at 812-231-4204 or howard.