Big turnout for PHA's meeting on potential Taft site

Feb 20, 2014

About 200 people attended the PHA's first meeting on potential sites for Taft Homes.
Credit Denise Molina-Weiger / Peoria Public Radio
A Peoria Housing Authority meeting on one of the potential sites to rebuild Taft Homes drew a large audience. The location in question is at 2917 West Lake.

PHA officials say they chose the site because it’s close to public transportation access and grocery stores. But a majority of the 200 people who attended the meeting say building public housing in the area will decrease property values and they are worried about the potential for increased crime.

20-year old Taft resident Kuaneisha Long-Pinkney says it’s not fair for people to associate low-income individuals with negative behavior: 

“I’m a single mother myself of a 7 year old little girl. She’s an honor roll student, full of potential. So where you come from don’t make a difference. It’s about where you’re going.”

PHA Board Chairman Ken Zika says the selection of the site is not final.

“We’re looking at other properties as well. We’re just not as far along in the process as this one and the Greeley school, so we’re vetting these. I mean we want to hear what people say. You know, everybody wants to say where they shouldn’t go. We have to find some places they should go too.”

The goal is to eventually replace all 216 units at Taft Homes by relocating the housing in smaller groups around the city. Another meeting on the proposal to build replacement homes at the former Greeley school is at 5:30 Thursday night at the Gateway building.