Public Housing Tenants Happy After HUD Denial

(Memphis) The Foote Homes neighbors fighting to save their community got the delay they wanted.

The city wants to demolish the downtown public housing apartments, but after hearing from the federal government, it’ll now have to wait.

Foote Homes is the last public housing complex standing. The city has demolished all the rest and has done so using federal grants.

This time, the feds said no.

“There’s no part of me that ever gives up,” said Robert Lipscomb, City of Memphis housing director.

City Housing Director Robert Lipscomb doesn’t know why Memphis isn’t a finalist for a federal grant to demolish Foote Homes. But he’s not giving up.

“We’ve gotten five and the reason we’ve been successful, I think we’ve got more than anybody else in the whole country probably, five, but the reason we’ve been successful is we go right back at it. We don’t give up,” said Lipscomb.

“Thank God they ain’t got no money. I hope they lose some more money, “said Christopher Smith.

What the city of Memphis views as a loss, Smith and his neighbors see as a big win.

The city wants to replace Foote Homes with housing that attracts a mixture of people from different incomes.

Some families may get to stay under the plan, but most would receive vouchers to relocate.

“I’ve been over here all my life. I ain’t never lived nowhere else. This is where I grew up at and they were trying to tear it down. They tearing my life down, you know,” said Smith.

Lipscomb says there was more competition for the housing grant money this time around.

Out of the 44 applications, only five cities, all larger than Memphis, are finalists to receive the grant.

WREG asked if opposition to the plan from residents and community members had something to do with the application not being accepted.

“It could have I don’t know,” said Lipscomb.

Lipscomb says they’ll dissect why the application was denied by talking to HUD, but for now, Foote Homes residents don’t have to worry about uprooting.