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After Irene, Brattleboro Reexamines Housing Plans

VPR NEWS – Monday, 12/26/11 7:34am – Susan Keese (Host) Housing officials say Tropical Storm Irene has placed new pressures on an already tight supply of low income housing. The storm has prompted housing experts to re-evaluate their plans and priorities. That’s especially true in Brattleboro, as VPR’s Susan Keese reports. (Hart) “So all of this was gone, where you’re standing, was gone…and we had to build it back up…   ” (Keese) Brattleboro Housing Authority Director Chris Hart leads the way through Melrose Terrace. The neighborhood of federally subsidized, single-story brick buildings was hit hard when the Whetstone Brook tore through it on August 28th. (Hart) “It went all the way from here all the way to that orange snow fence.” (Keese) Hart notices a string of Christmas lights in one apartment window. (Hart) “This is the building we just got back a few weeks ago, and it’s been re-occupied.” (Keese)  Other Melrose residents are still waiting to return. The project was home to 80 low-income seniors and people with disabilities. All were evacuated before Irene, along with residents of Hayes Court, another public housing project nearby. Both Hayes Court and Melrose are in the Whetstone Brook’s flood plain – a fact that’s gained new meaning since Irene. In this flood, Hayes Court escaped major damage while apartments at Melrose were devastated. Link to Full Radio Commentary Link to PDF of Radio Commentary

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