Oakville Residents Upset Over HUD Apartments For Seniors

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OAKVILLE, MO (KTVI)-- Some residents are fuming in the Oakville section of south St. Louis County over a “seniors only” low income apartment complex funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.  Some fear the new HUD homes could turn into something far less desirable, while officials insist those worries are baseless.

The construction zone, at 6050 Telegraph Rd. became active in just the past few weeks, and began drawing attention from residents.   Many complain they weren’t given any notice on the project.

“It’s turning out that people weren’t aware,” resident Lisa Crawford said.  “There are a lot of businesses within a thousand feet here in Telegraph who did not receive notice.”

But Steve Stenger, the county councilman representing the area, says there were public meetings back in 2012 that were sparsely attended, to say the least.

“There were actually four public hearings and meetings that went on about this project, and I don’t know if people weren’t paying attention,” he said.

Much of the speculation about what a HUD project might bring has come on the Facebook page, Oakville Residents Unite.  https://www.facebook.com/groups/383252991793081/?fref=ts

On the site, some worry out loud about sex offenders and other criminals being allowed to move into the apartments.  Senger calls some of the speculation, “over the top.”

“If this was a facility where registered sex offenders would be allowed, I would be the first person outside this building and blocking this development,” he said.  “Once you get into the Facebook page you see there’s a lot speculation that’s being built and a lot of misinformation and the only thing I want to do really is provide the facts.”

But opponents of the plan say the real issues are a big development in a small space, and a lack of transparency in the process.

“I think there’s always going to be a lot of what if’s when you don’t have a good feel for what actually is happening,” Crawford said.  “A majority of people are concerned that this is a really small tract of land to be putting a three story, forty-five unit complex on.”

The project is already approved, but residents are meeting Wednesday night at the St. Paul’s United Church of Christ in an effort to mount opposition.

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