Federal funding aims to transform west Huntsville

Storm over Butler Terrace

A new federal grant aims to transform west Huntsville.

The proposed changes could affect many people who live in public housing and it is causing some concern.

According to our news partners at AL.com, Huntsville recently won a $1.3 million federal grant.

That money will go toward planning to modify a large area west of Memorial Parkway.

The plan is to eventually close Butler Terrace, which sits between Clinton Avenue and Governors Drive and replace it with a mix of subsidized and “market-rate” apartments and possibly condominiums.

It’s the city’s oldest and largest public housing development.

Current residents of Butler Terrace would likely be given federal housing vouchers they could use at any apartment or rental home whose owner accepts them.

The concern comes in the desegregation process of nearby schools. Closing the housing complex would affect students at Blossomwood, Jones Valley, and Sonnie Hereford elementary.

The money the city has received so far is just for planning purposes.

The city would still have to apply for federal funding to implement its plan at the end of the process.

If approved, the federal support could be as high as $35 million. But housing authority planners warned the council that competition is strong for the implementation funds.

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