A group of Alexandria residents are likely to lose their neighborhood to demolition after a vote by the Alexandria Planning Commission to rezone the area.
Plans to redevelop the city's Beauregard area mean that 2,500 apartments will be torn down, driving thousands of people out of low-income housing.
"I'm a little bit scared because it's like they are axing us out of this place," said Margaret Knu, who lives in one of the affordable housing communities on the chopping block. "...They have to make it affordable for everyone to live here."
With both budget concerns and rents rising, Alexandria is being forced to choose between tax revenue and affordable housing. The commission voted unanimously Tuesday night to approve the plan, reports the West End Alexandria Patch.
That plan would tear down apartment buildings on both sides of Interstate 395 near Exit 4, along Seminary Road, N. Beauregard Street and Sanger Avenue. The buildings would be demolished over the next 30 years, making way for new condos and shopping areas.
The first families would have to move out within the next 20 months.
"There will be on-site coordinators to work with existing residents who wish to remain in the area, to help them find comparable units," said Cathy Puskar, a spokesperson for the developer, JBG Companies.
Under the new plan, JBG would build 6,300 new units, 800 of which would be considered affordable housing.
Current residents would also receive a one-time payment to help them move. That payment would range from $2,300 to $3,100.