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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Major improvements are underway to Miami-Dade’s public and affordable housing with one project just beginning in Overtown and another ongoing in Liberty Square.

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The challenges faced in both projects is to temporarily relocate the families while the work is being done and then return them to upgraded or even new units when that work is complete.

Ken Russell is the Chairman of the Miami City Commission and says, “To say we want to improve them at their expense is not the way we create opportunity and take care of our residents.”

He spoke at the groundbreaking ceremony of the 16 corner project in Overtown. Forty-four homes are to be renovated there while families living there are moved to a temporary location.

“It’s really great,” says Quantanae Robinson. “I’m glad they are doing it finally because we need it.” She is one of the residents who will be moved while her unit is renovated.

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In Liberty Square, the work is not just beginning but almost complete on the first phase of the improvements there.

Original buildings from 1937 have been demolished and in their place stands six new three-story garden homes.

Maurice Kemp is the Deputy Mayor of Miami-Dade County and says, “Everyone living in Liberty Square will have the opportunity to get and new unit and be relocated to that unit.”

That housing is starting with these garden homes that were constructed where the 1937 original buildings once stood. The finished product may be the upgraded homes, but the project itself involves more than that as it employs members of the community to help with the construction.

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The six homes are almost completed with the families and individuals who have been moved temporarily expected to move in starting March of this year. Just across the street is the location of the second phase of the project which is expected to be finished in 2020.

Dave Warren