Hope (VI) for Boulevard Homes

Written by Melissa Hankins

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Crime and decay in one area apartment complex is so bad the Charlotte Housing Authority thinks the federal government might help knock it down.

CHA is applying for a $20 million grant to completely overhaul Boulevard Homes, off of West Boulevard.

The 40-year-old complex needs $12-million in repairs.

"Ever since I moved here, I feel unsafe," said Shirley Rodgers. "Because I never know when I'm going to walk out the door and a bullet might hit me."

A long list of people have lost their lives inside this complex like Danasha Sanders, a 25-year-old mother.

CMPD officers Anthony Nobles and John Burnette were shot and killed when they pulled over a van in Boulevard Homes.

One woman's nephew was stabbed to death in the complex they both lived in.  She led a rally outside the West Boulevard Police precinct.

"We need more police in force around our community to stop the things that are going on."

Fast forward two years, and many more acts of violence like a triple shooting that just happened in June and now many say this place is past the point of intervention.  They just want it torn down.

"I think they should be doing it," Rodgers said.

She actually wants the Charlotte Housing Authority to tear down her home, as long as it could help get her into a safer community.  CHA wants to build a new place for these people to live with the help of a federal grant called Hope.

"In order to get something of this magnitude off the ground," says CHA CEO Charles Woodyard, "You're going to need the federal government to come in and devote large resources."

Woodyard wants $20 million from the feds to help transform Boulevard Homes, but competition is fierce for the grant.

In order to get it, he needs both a monetary commitment from the city and a school from CMS.  Both of which are an important part of the plan.

"We think it'll give us an edge in our application."

CMS hasn't approved the plan and city leaders won't endorse it either until CMS does.