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MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Historic Overtown is seeing plenty of new development. A trolley tour for the news media, through Overtown Tuesday morning had a singular purpose. To show that the Southeast Overtown/Park West Community Redevelopment Agency or CRA is serving its residents.
The CRA takes tax dollars specifically earmarked to go back into that community, to enhance quality of life and remove slum and blight in rougher neighborhoods.
“We are sitting down with building owners, giving them grants to rehab their housing, basically making them brand new,” said CRA Director Clarence Woods during a news conference.
Woods says through a combination of small and large projects, as well as a new branding campaign, Overtown is moving forward.
Miami’s CRAs made headlines recently when the Miami Commission voted unanimously to fire the Omni CRA Director, accusing that CRA of supporting big projects but doing little to directly improve the lives of low-income residents in the area.
Last week, the commission also shot down a 115-million dollar tax subsidy deal for a convention center and hotel connected to the Miami World Center Project.
Still the Overtown/Park West CRA is supportive of Miami World Center and All Aboard Florida, arguing the construction and running of the projects will give local residents employment.
Overtown business owner, and resident Mussadiq Muhammad says he believes the City Commission will ensure enough affordable housing, so Overtown residents will not be forced out of their neighborhood as development moves in.
“From a business perspective I’m very happy. From a resident..it’s all good. It’s what it should be…I think what it’s going to do for the community is shed a beacon of light for what’s to come.”
To read about the Miami CRA projects, click here.