Times staff report
Housing, county and city officials, along with residents and others, on Friday cut the ribbon and celebrated completion of the first phase of Villas at Titusville on the former Loveman Village public housing site.
Built on the site of the 61-year-old Loveman Village, the Villas at Titusville will provide a total of 164 housing units, with 100 available in the first phase.
“The Villas at Titusville serve as a beacon of hope not only for the residents of the community but also the surrounding neighborhood,” said Michael Lundy, President/CEO of the HABD. “I am thrilled that dozens of residents of former Loveman Village who chose to return to the brand new Villas at Titusville are now settled in and enjoying their beautiful, modern apartments.
“It has been remarkable to witness the drastic and much-needed redevelopment of the former Loveman Village,” he said. “We’re now halfway complete with the entire transformation of the site which is helping to improve the quality of life for affordable housing residents.”
The $79.6 million redevelopment provides residents with contemporary housing over a less dense footprint. The original Loveman Village community, constructed in 1950, consisted of approximately 500 units. While the Villas at Titusville will have fewer units, the design of the community will make the community more secure.
Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin said, “Our commitment to neighborhood revitalization is as strong as ever, and I’m very excited to see the work underway at Villas at Titusville. The historic Titusville neighborhood is one of our cherished communities and the redevelopment here is proof. I’m so proud of the transformation this neighborhood is undergoing.”
The community will also feature modern amenities including two community centers, Early Childhood Development Center, playgrounds, and green space. Construction on one of the community centers is complete, with future construction on the other community center and the daycare facility.
Residents of the Villas at Titusville, who have already begun to move into the new units and will continue to do so over the coming weeks, will each receive a brick reclaimed from the demolition of Loveman Village, with each brick mounted on a plaque and accompanied by an inscription.
The second phase of construction will begin in 2020 and will add the remaining 64 units to the community upon completion.
In addition to the new housing units, the HABD is facilitating programs and services to help residents become more self-sufficient. HABD is investing $500,000 with an additional $500,000 from a grant from the Housing Affordability Trust (HAT), for the Villas at Titusville Early Childhood Development Program, which will operate out of the on-site daycare facility.
Residents also participate in the Family Self-Sufficiency Program (FSS), which is designed to lead residents to independence by connecting them to better jobs, higher education, the private housing market, and homeownership. Each resident works with an FSS coordinator, who helps residents identify educational, personal, and professional goals and develop action plans for achieving those goals.
“The mission of the Housing Authority of the Birmingham District extends beyond providing housing for families,” said Lundy. “We strive to give our residents the tools to succeed on their own so that they can eventually own their own homes. Because as beautiful as the Villas at Titusville is, it is meant to serve as a way station, not a permanent destination. When families can succeed on their own, we all win.”
The project was completed in partnership with Hollyhand Development, LLC. Marcella Roberts, Vice President of Development of the firm, said, “We are honored to be a partner in the redevelopment of Loveman Village, which is a positive step towards the transformation of the Titusville neighborhood.”