Letter: LaGrange Housing Authority plan a step in the right direction

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Kudos to Zsa Zsa Heard and the LaGrange Housing Authority (LHA) on the bold announcement that our 60-plus year old public housing communities will be replaced with new townhomes.

While this may not be an easy transition for all public housing residents, with their active leadership this can be one of the most significant acts of progress in LaGrange in recent decades, especially if the reconstruction is part of a master plan to deconcentrate poverty housing.

Recently an LDN article highlighted an emerging vision of such a plan here in LaGrange. This compelling picture of the future must be infused into the design of the public housing metamorphosis.

Thank you, Mayor Jim Thornton, for articulating governmental support and leadership for just policies that can stimulate the creation of mixed-income communities in all of LaGrange’s quadrants. As the mayor stated, “affordable, subsidized housing along with market-value housing … seems to be what’s in the best interest, particularly for children …”

One modest proposal towards the realization of a LaGrange without concentrated poverty would be for the LHA and city government to commit to mixed-income housing at the very two townhomes planned for construction at the current Lucy Morgan and Benjamin Harvey Hill sites. Beyond that, I agree and strongly endorse a plan to create pockets of interdependent subsidized and market-value housing all around our 21st century city and trust that we have the organizational and human capital to make it happen.

LaGrange is writing a new chapter in its history. Ending the vestiges of structural segregation and combating widening income disparity in our town will be a long and arduous task, but I am confident that with strong visionary leadership, bold initiatives and a unified voice, we can create an economically viable LaGrange in all its quadrants and for all its residents.

Anton Flores