Group Asks City To ‘Improve Not Remove’ Foote Homes

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(Memphis) Residents and neighbors are asking the city not to give Foote Homes in downtown Memphis, the boot.

Today, the Vance Avenue Collaborative presented two possible plans for the city's last public housing complex.

One plan involves major renovations to the 425 units, the other includes tearing down deteriorating buildings and enlarging others.

"Another element of the plan is to support the generation of local businesses in this community. The first project that's been identified is the creation of a community owned and operated cooperative food store," said Ken Reardon with the Vance Avenue Collaborative.

The city wants to tear down Foote Homes to make way for a mixed-use residential and commercial development call Heritage Homes.

People who have lived in Foote Homes for years don't know where they would go in the meantime.

"I wish they would come over and make improvements and leave people alone," said Joyce Hill.

Carry Yancey moved into Foote Homes when the city tore down Claiborne Homes.

She's hoping to move into a new Senior citizens complex nearby next year.

She says Claiborne homes had to go, "All the killings of the children got to me."

Residents of Foote Homes say that's not the case there.

The Vance Avenue Collaborative is hoping a petition drive and letter writing campaign to Mayor Wharton will convince the city to save Foote Homes.

They are also trying to get the public housing complex placed on the National Register of Historic Places.