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Senior housing complex in danger of closing in downtown Phoenix

Posted at 6:30 PM, Feb 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-11 23:17:40-05

PHOENIX — A senior housing complex that is home to a blind man, a 93-year-old woman and many struggling to make ends meet could be torn down by Phoenix leaders.

Jose Villela is the caregiver of his 93-year-old mother at the Deck Park Vista complex off 3rd Street in downtown Phoenix.

According to city documents, the city's housing development wants to demolish the 56-unit complex and replace it with a high-rise tower with up to 436 new apartment units.

A spokesperson for the city said the move is in response to the housing crisis in Phoenix, where affordable housing is a problem.

“The city is redeveloping Deck Park Vista to offer more affordable housing options downtown. The property is currently severely underutilized with on 56 units on 2 acres in downtown,” a spokesperson wrote in an email.

The affordable housing would be workforce housing units, according to the city.

Villela said his mother is in no condition to move, nor is his neighbor who hasn’t slept in weeks over the stress and anxiety of losing her home. “How about rehabbing the building?" he said.

Villela who pays a little more than $450 month in rent said he will not be able to afford any of the other complexes.

When asked where will he will go, he responded with, “probably the cemetery.”

The city’s housing development leaders are asking for proposals on what to do with the property and are asking developers to submit their ideas by Monday, February 24, 2020, at 3 p.m.

“They want it mixed with children, and they want working people,” said another homeowner. "They don’t want people that are poor like me that make $700 a month.”

The city went on to say, “We will move all the residents at our cost to one of the 13 properties we offered. We are also putting 56 Section 8 vouchers into the redevelopment so the current residents can move back if they choose to and their rent will be subsidized in the new housing.”

The city council will look at the proposals and approve them on May 20, according to a city calendar.