Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Tuesday night Columbia leaders and nearly 100 members of the North Columbia community met for over three hours discussing a proposed housing property on North Main Street.
Members of the North Columbia Business Association say the plan would include HUD housing and goes against the North Columbia Master Plan.
The Upstate company behind the project say the plan is set to house 55 "affordable" low income units but is NOT a HUD project.
Community members are upset about bringing in a low income housing project to an already struggling community.
"I am opposed to it, I don't think we need any more low income housing in this area, we have been saturated enough and in order for us to move forward and get to what we have been working on for years, we need to have other kinds of developments in the area," said Henry Bracey.
Mayor Benjamin says the city does not own the property; instead the Columbia empowerment zone does. Residents say the city should block the deal because it will not improve the area.
"I am disappointed that they are considering this project because it is not in the plan, not what we were looking for and I don't think it will be a positive add for this community," said James Hiott.
"We have our population of those who are disadvantaged, to build on that is to tear apart the fabric of our society in Eau Claire in general," said Lyman Munsa.
Because of the more than 40 public comments that were scheduled, we were not able to speak with city leaders about their thoughts on what should be done in regards to the project.
The City council voted on three motions. First, they are urging the Columbia Empowerment Zone to reconsider the sale of the property.
Next, they are sending the issue to the economic and community development committee. And finally, the council is urging the Empowerment Zone to explore more commercial and retail opportunities.