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Housing Authority Awarded $29 Million HUD Grant For Eastside Development

The Housing and Urban Development's Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Grant will help revitalize the 71-year-old Wheatley Courts housing complex on the Eastside.  248 families call the courts home, where the average income is only $7,500 per year.

San Antonio Housing Authority President Lourdes Castro-Ramirez said the complex will be completely rebuilt.

"Essentially we will be replacing the current public housing community with a 308-unit mixed income, high quality housing community," Castro-Ramirez said.

In addition to helping the surrounding community, the grant will also go towards job training programs.

"We are looking to partner with St. Philip’s College and Youth Build to have a construction trades training," said Castro-Ramirez. "So as we get the construction started our hopes are to have residents working on the project itself."

SAHA is adopting a new method of integrating families of different income levels -- like those on assistance and those paying market rate -- in the same complex, a practice that will be applied here at the courts.

District 2 City Councilwoman Ivy Taylor said the city has been focused on Eastside revitalization since 2010.

"It’s kind of slow in coming because you can’t make up for 30, 40 years of dis-investment in one or two years, but this is certainly a big shot in the arm," Taylor said.

The neighborhood is already receiving $60 million in leveraged funds through initiates like the Eastside Promise Neighborhood Grant and the nearby University of the Incarnate Word eye clinic.

San Antonio was only one of four cities across the country to receive the grant. Construction is expected to start in 9 to 12 months. 

Joey Palacios can be reached atJoey@TPR.org and on Twitter at @Joeycules