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  • Raquetta Dotley

Westside: An Alternate Chattanooga

“As City Councilwoman, I will hold the Chattanooga Housing Authority accountable to the one-for-one replacement of subsidized housing so that those who are helping plan the Westside Evolved Community will actually be able to live, work, and play in the community."


Photo by Ashley Culverhouse | Chattanooga Times Free Press
Photo by Ashley Culverhouse | Chattanooga Times Free Press

The Westside is arguably one of the best locations in Chattanooga. There is access to the interstate, the riverwalk, and downtown. Although it is centrally located, the area has not seen the type of investments that are happening all around it. It's as if the Westside exists in an alternate Chattanooga.


Developments have happened on Main Street, the Riverfront, Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, and even the interstate is seeing greater improvements. The Westside area has thousands of residents that deserve to be treated with as much pomp and circumstance as other surrounding areas.


In 2014, the Chattanooga Housing Authority announced that within 10 years they would be closing College Hill Courts and Eastlake Courts. According to their 2020 Annual Plan, “In Fiscal Year 2020, CHA anticipates submitting an application to dispose and demolish 497 units in College Hill Courts. CHA expects to submit the Disposition Application no later than

August 2020 and anticipates commencing disposition of these units no later than December 2022.”


So what is going to happen on the Westside? What about the people?


Enter Westside Community Evolves, led by Chattanooga Design Studio, "to proactively imagine the future of the Westside District."


Working with community stakeholders, the Westside Community Evolves project will gather input and create actionable steps to “encourage a diverse, mixed income urban community.” According to Chattanooga housing Authority (CHA) Executive Director Betsy McCright, “We recognize that the CHA’s role is to preserve and expand affordable housing opportunities in our community. The planning process should identify a strategy that supports a one-for-one replacement of subsidized housing units in this district. This particular place in our city holds significant potential opportunity for residents who require access to jobs, education, and services.”


As City Councilwoman, I will hold the Chattanooga Housing Authority accountable to the one-for-one replacement of subsidized housing so that those who are helping plan the Westside Evolved Community will actually be able to live, work, and play in the community.


Resources:

CHA Report

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wt-QrZ-Q4KQ

https://www.westsideevolves.com

https://issuu.com/chattanoogadesignstudio/docs/westside_neighborhood_final_version

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