SAN ANTONIO -- Wheatley Courts, which used to be one of the oldest public housing developments in the city, is now a spot where tens of millions of dollars are being invested.
"I was one of the last ones to leave when they told us we have to move. And I'm excited to come back," said Gloria Gonzales, a former and future resident of the area.
She lived there for a decade when it was a different world. The apartments were made up of cinder blocks and the units would get too hot during the summer to even cook inside. Gonzales said that she couldn't even hang decorations because of the way the apartments were built.
"All the 10 years I was here, I never put a picture up on my wall. Now, I am excited we can do that," Gonzales said.
"Wheatley Courts was very significant housing on the east side, but it was older. The quality of life was lower than it should have been," Julian Castro said.
The Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, and former San Antonio mayor, was in town for a tour and ribbon cutting. He said that the new apartments carry a bigger message for San Antonio, which is expected to grow by more than a million people by 2040.
"The rent is going up. Costs of homes is going up significantly. We need to invest in affordable housing," Castro noted.
Starting with a HUD grant, the project has now transitioned into a hundred million dollar construction project, bringing both private and public dollars into the community.
It’s created a new complex with new opportunities for families excited to come back home.
There are more than 200 mixed-income apartments, which means that some will go for market rates while others will have subsidized housing.
The work isn't done. The plan is to continue construction so that there is space for everyone from families with kids to seniors.
(© 2016 KENS)