Residents, Housing Authority Hope to Improve Neighborhood

Police search for a burglary suspect.
Police search for a burglary suspect.

Everyone wants to live in a safe neighborhood, but for residents in Blackshear Homes, crime is a constant. Today, they met with officials from the local housing authority to figure out how to clean up the area. They're talking about building new homes that residents hope will give their neighborhood a new look, making it less of a target for crime.

People in the neighborhood say seeing K-9 units and police cars is nothing new. "This is an everyday thing," said resident Jeffrey Christie.

Christie has lived there for more than two years, and he admits it won't be easy cleaning up his neighborhood. "I've been robbed five or six times," he said. "I just got robbed Saturday."

That's exactly what the Housing Authority of Savannah and Integral Properties want to change. This morning, while the Housing Authority met with residents about how to clean up their neighborhood, Savannah-Chatham police were outside combing the neighborhood, trying to catch a burglar who hit a home minutes before.

But officials believe new homes will make a difference. "Development is very important to revitalization in the area," said Rosalyn Truitt with the Hope Six project, in which the Housing Authority is building hundreds of new homes, hoping it turns around this declining neighborhood.

"We just didn't want to develop the public housing site but to do something in the adjacent neighborhood," Truitt said.

But Christie says new homes or not, he doesn't have much faith in the old neighborhood changing. "It's frustrating," he told us. "In fact it makes you not want to buy something for your own house."

Reported by: Hena Daniels, hdaniels@wtoc.com