ST. LOUIS – A troubled St. Louis public housing complex that made national news several years ago for its faults is getting a $150 million facelift.
Clinton-Peabody, located just south of Downtown St. Louis, is being rebuilt better than before. A large redevelopment of the facility will be supported by public and private funding.
“I would say it’s not atypical of affordable housing projects that we see across the country,” said St. Louis City Housing Authority Alana Green on the $150 million investment. “It’s not anything that’s unusual. Families deserve a good place to live and a quality place to live.”
For many years, the Clinton-Peabody complex had become synonymous with housing troubles, crime, and mice and bug infestations. Green says the overhaul is long overdue.
”It was needed because Clinton-Peabody is quite frankly the oldest development in the Housing Authority portfolio, constructed in the 1940s,” said Green. “It’s a development that’s long overdue for redevelopment, and I would say it doesn’t provide for the amenities that modern families need to thrive.”
It took a major battle to get to this point, including an uprising by tenants and the involvement of state and federal officials. You Paid For It first exposed the terrible conditions at the complex in 2019, when it was besieged by mice and insects.
Before it was over, a U.S. Senator got involved in the fight. While serving as Missouri Attorney General at the time, Josh Hawley filed a lawsuit against the St. Louis Housing Authority over conditions.
The Housing Authority Board of Directors was forced out, and the executive director eventually resigned. Green was hired to take her place, and she wasted no time pushing the redevelopment project.
“The redevelopment of Clinton-Peabody is long overdue,” said Green. “It should have been done decades ago.”
Clinton-Peabody residents, like Rhonda Hawkins, agree it’s time for change.
”It’s a good idea,” said Hawkins. “Get rid of the rodents and the roaches, and maybe some of the other problems that’s going on down here. I’ve been down here for 17 years. I really think that’s the best idea they’ve had since I’ve been here.”
Green hopes to start work in late 2024 or early 2025. She says the project will take five years to finish. Her message for taxpayers about the project: “I would say our families deserve to live in decent, safe, and sanitary housing.”