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Published: Thursday, 5/1/2008

Whitlock, Brown site plans on agenda


Public housing residents at the Brand Whitlock and Albertus Brown complexes have an opportunity this evening to discuss the future of their homes.

Brand Whitlock Homes, Toledo's oldest public housing complex, opened in 1938. The adjacent Albertus Brown Homes opened shortly thereafter.

The Lucas Metropolitan Housing Authority wants to renovate or redevelop the buildings. The apartments could be demolished in the next several years.

On tonight's agenda - the exterior and site plan for both complexes. At a meeting last month, residents discussed what they would like to see on the interior of redesigned units.

However, an attorney for residents said the LMHA has yet to answer several critical questions about the project.

In a letter presented to LMHA board members earlier this month, attorney C. Thomas McCarter, with Advocates for Basic Legal Equality, requested several issues be placed on the agenda for tonight's meeting.

Among them:

•Should units be demolished or just renovated?

•If units are demolished, how many will be replaced on site?

•What would be the time-line of a demolition?

•If fewer units are rebuilt than are demolished, what will be the criteria used to select which residents get to return to the site?

At the last LMHA board meeting, Executive Director Linnie Willis said the housing authority is not trying to evade questions or hide any information, but key components of the overhaul have not been figured out.

Additionally, she said yesterday, most are of the issues can be addressed at a future meeting with residents and the Central Residents Council. A date for that meeting has not been set, but will be scheduled soon, Mrs. Willis said.

Tonight's meeting is from 5 to 8 p.m. in the Brand Whitlock Community Room, 642 Division St. Dinner and child care will be provided.

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