Demolition of government housing delayed

The historic Griffin Park neighborhood, in Orlando’s west side, is smack in the middle of the I-4 Ultimate construction project.

Noise and dust have become the norm for the government-housing community, which shares it’s property with a construction site.

“Every morning I wake up, it’s aggravating because sometimes they work all night until the next morning,” said Carl Tokes Jr., brother of Griffin Park resident

Maritza Pagan suffers with severe asthma, she says the dust is unbearable.

“You clean in the morning and you go back at night and it’s like you haven’t cleaned in a month, it’s absolutely out of control,” said Maritza Pagan, Griffin Park resident.

Orlando Housing Authority Executive Director Vivian Bryant says there are plans for the neighborhood but it may mean everyone moving out. 

“We’d like to see some other use for Griffin Park, we’d like to demolish it, we’ll probably demolish it in phases and preserve the historic character,” said Vivian Bryant, President and Executive Director, Orlando Housing Authority. 

And the whole demolition/moving plan has another snag. There's practically no federal funding, so that means a five to 10-year delay. Orlando Commissioner Regina Hill says the delay buys some time to consider the option of renovating the homes.

“My idea is to keep the façade and to go internally inside and bring it up to code to a safe quality of living,” said Regina Hill, City of Orlando District 5 Commissioner.

Gloria Ramos tells us she’s fine with staying or going.

“If they’re not going to do it now, or it takes a year, I’m okay, I’d would be alright with me,” said Gloria Ramos, Griffin Park resident.

But her neighbor Maritza is ready to go.

“Hey, if they gave me the opportunity, yes I will. Who wouldn’t like that? Get away from all this noise and dust,” said Pagan.

The future of this community remains in the balance. The housing authority says, if demolition takes place, that would not be until affordable housing has been found for every resident being displaced.