If downtown Fort Worth is an ocean, then this neighborhood would be an island among the highways. Butler Place is one of Fort Worth’s oldest and largest public housing projects where an estimated 900 people call these brick buildings home.
At 77 years old, Butler Place is about to go under redevelopment. The multi-year redevelopment plan is expected to have the residents relocated by 2019, and details about what will replace Butler Place are in discussion between Fort Worth Housing Solutions (FWHS) and the city of Fort Worth. When this occurs, that means 412 families will be relocated throughout the city.
Some of the residents were not too thrilled to hear they will have to leave.
“It doesn’t really make me feel that well,” said Bambi Trotty, a retiree who used to work for AT&T customer service.
Trotty and other residents of Butler Place met with FWHS, the agency in charge of Butler Place and other neighborhoods, to discuss how the residents there will move out of their buildings in Butler Place into other communities throughout Fort Worth in the next few years.
FWHS, formerly known as Fort Worth Housing Authority, buys land and builds apartments and other housing complexes with amenities such as built-in washing machines and carpeting for people with low income, living on social security or disability income, said the president of Fort Worth Housing Solutions Naomi Byrne.
Below is a map of FWHS properties where Butler residents may be relocated.
Fort Worth Housing Solutions has run into trouble when they relocated residents from their other communities in the past. One of those communities was the Ripley Arnold complex.
In the early 2000s, FWHS acquired the Villas of Eastwood Terrace property, formerly known as the Stonegate Villas. The Stonegate residents voiced their opinions when the agency brought in people from Ripley Arnold, worried about how those from Ripley Arnold would bring “crime and lower property values” to the community.
Byrne said that Fort Worth Housing Solutions worked with the residents of Ripley Arnold and Stonegate to make sure that neither crime nor lower property values would come into the neighborhood and that both current and incoming residents would receive equal benefits from the services that the now Eastwood Terrace offers, which includes things like a pool and library.
Today, Byrne said the residents of Fort Worth shouldn’t have to worry about these new residents coming in from Butler because they have contracts with them along with high oversight from the city, making sure that they’re well-behaved and responsible citizens in their new communities through constant connection and service to the residents. If the residents that FWHS is responsible for do not fulfill their contracts or misbehave in any manner, those residents could lose their homes and the amenities with them, Byrne said.
Byrne said she explains to concerned residents the mission of Fort Worth Housing Solutions, which is “to seamlessly integrate families into every community so that you don’t have areas of poverty, but you don’t necessarily have areas of exclusivity.”
The residents from Butler will be integrated into the various other communities that FWHS owns throughout the city such as the Villas of Oak Hill, which is next to the Colonial Country Club.
Byrne said that FWHS will help the families and residents of Butler Place move into the other neighborhoods so that they have everything they need in their new homes like the right amenities and a suitable location not too far from family or work.
Some of the people of Butler Place are really hoping for somewhere nice where they can once again call it home.