MIAMI (CBS4 Miami) – Ten years in the making, residents of the demolished Scott Carver Projects in Liberty City finally get their promises fulfilled.
They get to move back to their old neighborhood into newly constructed, upgraded homes. But residents say it was a long, bumpy road to the new North Park at Scott Carver community.
“We’re just sitting out here barbequing,” said Nora Arroyo, sitting next to her husband Erasmo.
The couple cooks out every Labor Day, but this is their first time doing it at their new home. The Arroyos lived in the Scott Carver Housing Project in Liberty City before it was torn down and residents were forced out.
More than one thousand residents were scattered across Miami-Dade after the housing project was torn down about 10 years ago. Some of the original residents say the transition wasn’t easy.
“It was rough,” said Tina Mincey who added that county officials promised they would help them move and find a new place to stay. “But they did not.”
Dozens of displaced residents protested the county’s decision back then and then again in 2008 when the homes they say they were promised, were nothing more than an empty lot.
Ten years later they can finally return home. The new North Park at Scott Carver is a publicly subsidized, privately built mixed income housing complex that the original Carver Scott residents are very proud to live in.
“Oh, I had to dance,” Nora Arroyo told CBS4’s Summer Knowles when asked to describe how she felt when she moved in.
“I danced coming in here, and I danced coming out. I danced a whole two weeks, and I said Lord I thank you,” Arroyo.
Her husband Erasmo Arroyo agrees.
“It is a blessing to know when you can live in a good place. We might not have everything, but we’ve got a nice home,” said Arroyo.
District Two Commissioner Jean Monestime agrees those ten years was way too long for residents to have to wait to move back in, but he believes a valuable lesson of community activism was learned through it all.
“They [the facilities] are so nice because the community has been involved and advocated for better housing and advocated for those being displaced. I urge them to continue to engage in the process.”