Angry citizens voice concerns about public housing project in their neighborhood

The Port Arthur Housing Authority held a public hearing Thursday afternoon for people living within a quarter mile of the proposed Edison Square.

The 128 unit complex is supposed to provide housing for the elderly, but most neighbors believe it will be a haven for crime.

And they feel their concerns are falling on deaf ears.

Reginald Trainer said, "We've told you over and over, we don't want it, it seems to be getting pushed upon us."

The housing authority wants to build the complex at 3501 12th Street, site of the old Edison school.

Citizens are angry that a public hearing is being held more than month after the Port Arthur city council approved a zoning change for the housing project.

Claudette Guillory Massey told the housing authority board, "It really doesn't matter what we think, I don't really know why we're meeting.  Things have already been set in motion, and they told us this is going to happen."

But housing authority board chairman, Ronnie Linden, said, "There has been intervention on our part to go into the community to talk to people, I have done so."

Still neighbors are skeptical, especially that the housing will be limited to the elderly, but Linden says that the federal contract mandates them to only allow senior citizens to live at Edison Square.

Opponents to the complex say they would prefer a park be built on the site, since so many children live in the neighborhood.

The housing authority has partnered with a Port Arthur development company called ITEX to build the complex.

ITEX is in the closing stages of purchasing the site from the Port Arthur School District.



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