Liberty Square, one of Miami’s oldest and most dangerous public housing projects, may be getting a hardcore makeover.
Miami-Dade County is piecing together $74 million in public funds so Liberty Square can be demolished and rebuilt as a $200 million project.
Michael Liu, Miami-Dade director of public housing and community development, told the Miami Herald that part of the county’s plan is to build a new housing complex about two miles to southwest of Liberty Square on a vacant lot. Dozens of families from the old buildings would move into the new complex.
The county expects to invest $48 million to build the new Liberty Square. Another $26 million is expected to go toward job development, building new single-family homes and other initiatives to revitalize the community, the Miami Herald reported. Funding for the project and the developer must be approved by the commission. First round votes could take place as early as March and the entire project is expected to take four to five years.
Liberty Square tenants complain about rat infestations, moldy walls and gang murders.
“Right now our children, it’s where they can’t even come outside to play. We have crime 24 hours around the clock sometimes and it gets hard. It gets hard for them even to have a regular childhood,” Sara Alvin Smith, head of the Liberty City Tenants Association told the Miami Herald. “Sometimes you have to demolish something to make it better.” [Miami Herald] — Kristina Puga