SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio District 5 Councilwoman Shirley Gonzales is calling on the city to address the termination of the Alazan Apache Courts redevelopment project on the West Side.
In a memo to City Manager Erik Walsh, Gonzales said San Antonio Housing Authority interim CEO Ed Hinojosa had reached an agreement to terminate the two-phase project.
Gonzales said the reasoning behind the termination was attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused 300 tenants to be behind on their rental payments. She said this made the tenants ineligible for leasing redeveloped units under Housing and Urban Development rules.
Gonzales said Hinojosa anticipates a revised five-phased plan will be developed within 45 days.
“This is a devastating blow against redevelopment of the heart of our historic Westside which I have worked hard to revive during my whole tenure on the council,” Gonzales wrote in the memo.
She said the city must collaborate with the housing authority board and management to resolve the situation.
“I urge your immediate attention to this problem,” Gonzales wrote.
SAHA sent KSAT the following statement regarding the project:
“With the ongoing pandemic and economic crisis facing our city, the San Antonio Housing Authority has made a collective decision to cancel the request for proposal for a development partner and instead will self-develop and self-manage the Alazan Courts to address the concerns raised by our public housing residents.
“SAHA is committed to the redevelopment in a method that will not displace our residents and maintain our commitment to maintain and grow public housing to serve the most vulnerable residents of San Antonio.
“SAHA will fulfill its obligation to the residents of the Westside and will move forward with the rebuilding of Alazan Courts, but in a slower manner allowing for additional phases to prevent relocation of residents and to increase the number of public housing units.
“As the owner and developer, SAHA will manage the property, which will also allow residents to receive all the federal tenant protections afforded to them through HUD.
“There are also increasing possibilities under the new Biden administration for new federal funding to increase public housing. SAHA will pursue all avenues to advocate for increased funding through HUD, advocate for the repeal of the Faircloth Amendment, and additional flexibility in the uses of Community Development Block Grants to make this project a reality.
Our decision is a sign that we are truly committed to listening to what our residents are asking for, and a new direction to meet the needs of our communities.”