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Gadsden Green Complex Is Not For Sale
2/5/2014 3:55:30 PM

Gadsden Green public housing complex

By Barney Blakeney

While in the checkout line at the grocery store recently, overheard was an oft-repeated rumor that residents of the Gadsden Green public housing complex on the Charleston peninsula’s west side have been issued notices that the apartments have been sold and occupants soon must move out.

Charleston Housing Authority Executive Director Don Cameron Monday said that simply is not true.

The 264-unit complex has not been sold and there are no plans to sell it, Cameron said. He called the complex a precious resource that represents one of few housing resources on the peninsula available to low income residents.

The housing authority is compelled by an Agreement of Trust between it, the City of Charleston and the federal government to maintain the complex as low income affordable housing, he said. Before it could be sold or otherwise used, all three entities must approve. But that’s unlikely, he said.

Many point to the demolition of the Ansonborough Homes housing complex as evidence such agreements can change.

Cameron said the Ansonborough Homes closure and demolition came only after flooding from Hurricane Hugo in 1989 discouraged many of its 162 families from moving back to the complex.

After Hurricane Hugo, only about 130 residents returned to the complex. It was closed about 1995, Cameron said. By then there were only 106 residents at the complex.

He said affluent development around the complex had nothing to do with the decision to close the Ansonborough complex. And likewise, affluent development around the Gadsden Green complex won’t influence it’s future.

The Gadsden Green complex will be maintained, but it won’t be improved beyond what’s structurally possible now, Cameron said.

Those who live there and those who move into the community will have to figure out how to coexist and cooperate as they share amenities such as Burke High School and a renovated Harmon Park playground, he said.

Cameron said the Robert Mills Manor housing complex on Beaufain Street also will be maintained as low income public into the foreseeable future.

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