Sparkman Homes residents share concerns on upcoming relocation

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – The Huntsville Housing Authority plans to demolish Sparkman Homes and is removing families out of their homes before the end of January.

Most of the people living in the subsidized housing community are having a hard time finding their next place to live.

It’s a rainy day at Sparkman Homes

Thursday was a rainy day in Huntsville and Willie Hereford is worried.

“If you can put a monkey on the moon and you can’t put a family in a house in a high tech city… it makes me ashamed,” said Hereford.

Hereford will be 87 in December. He said, “I been out here in Sparkman Homes about 40 years.”

But in three months the place Hereford calls home will no longer exist.

The Huntsville Housing Authority said 157 units are occupied, but 130 families living in those units still need to find another place to live.

Fear is settling in

“This my older sister apartment, and have a child, and she have more stuff in her apartment to where she can’t move it all at once,” said Ezasha Coonrod.

They’ll have to move either way. The Huntsville Housing Authority is set to demolish the Section 8 housing community.

Danielle Thomas with the Huntsville Housing Authority said, “[We] began distributing vouchers to residents in mid-September of 2019. Those vouchers do have a 60-day expiration date.”

“I’m afraid if they don’t have enough time, they gone kick all these people’s stuff out and they not gone know where to go,” said Coonrod.

Officials with the city said the complex is too rundown for people to live there any longer.

Some residents would rather stay put

“It’s a bad time of year for anybody to be moving,” said Hereford.

Even with relocation vouchers from the Huntsville Housing Authority, Hereford has roots in the complex.

“I prefer to stay here, ” he said. “The basic thing is not the moving that really bothers me. It’s demolishing these homes.”

A home of forty years that cannot be replaced with four new walls.

Huntsville Housing Authority Representatives told the Huntsville City Council last night that they’ve issued the last of the relocation vouchers for people moving out of Sparkman Homes and they have a resident meeting planned for next week.