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Homeowners on Sikes Road react to housing project approval
ORANGE - by Lauren Huet
Many homeowners living on or near Sikes Road are upset about a proposed public housing project to be built at 4030 Sikes Road. Orange City Council voted Tuesday, 4-3, to approve the building of Arthur Robinson II on Sikes Road.
Leroy Perkins has lived on Sikes Road since 1957. He spoke at the meeting yesterday.
"That meeting wasn't fair. I could have told you the vote before I left, and I left before they voted," said Perkins.
"We are very unhappy around here," said neighbor Connie James. "All this neighborhood, everyone's very disappointed."
Both James and Perkins worry that the public housing project will cause crime to rise in the area.
"I'm very concerned about that, and my safety, because you know, you never know who you're going to get in a low income place," said James.
"I'm going to have more trouble renting this," said Perkins, pointing across the street to a house he bought in 1980, "because people aren't going to want to live here because of that place being here. And consequently, I'm probably going to have to sell the thing and the property values are going to fall down here."
Another neighbor was open to the idea of the public housing project.
"Because everybody does need a place to live," said Betty Stogner. "If they keep close quarters on it."
Michael Combs, the Vice Chair of the Orange Housing Authority, said the Housing Authority will not allow tenants to engage in illegal activity, or do anything that would damage property. Combs says if anyone breaks the rules, they will be removed from the housing project.
He said, to be accepted in the new Arthur Robinson II project, tenants must pass two background checks. They also must either be a full-time student or have a job.
Combs said the Housing Authority is relieved by the council's decision yesterday, because now they can move forward with the project. He says they hope to start building next year.