Phoenix Seniors May Be Forced To Move To Make Way For New Downtown Housing

Published: Tuesday, June 21, 2016 - 7:34am
Updated: Tuesday, June 21, 2016 - 3:05pm
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Just north of the popular Roosevelt Row Arts District sits a two-story apartment complex called Deck Park Vista. For 23 years, Alberta Rotger has called it home.

“It’s like family,” Rotger said.

On Tuesday, a City of Phoenix subcomittee will discuss a proposal that could force her family out.

Of their possible displacement, Rotger's neighbor Linda Reese said, “I’ve been here 11 years. I’m very upset about it, you know. It’s taking our community apart.”  

What Reese sees as breaking up her community, the city’s Housing Department sees as an opportunity. Phoenix representatives met with residents of the city-owned property last week. They shared plans to sell the 56-unit complex to a developer that could create 400 units that would include a mix of affordable and market rate rents.

Alberta Rotger says the gathering felt like a funeral. “Some people were crying because they didn’t want to leave the people here,” she said.

City staff stressed that no deal has been signed to redevelop the 2.1 acres between 3rd and 5th Streets. Final plans would require the full council’s approval. 

Rotger said residents were told they’d get at least three months’ notice, help finding a new place and their moving expenses would be covered. 

“They were very nice," she said. "They’re trying."

When asked if they made any promises, Rotger laughed and replied, “No, no promises.”

During her time at Deck Park, Rotger says she’s only seen residents leave for two reasons— “Either they go to a nursing home or they pass away."

Now, they have to prepare for a third possibility. 

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