Tenants of troubled New London housing complex may be able to move

An affordable housing complex in New London. (WTNH- File)

NEW LONDON, Conn. (WTNH) — Tenants of the troubled Thames River Apartments may soon be able to find other affordable housing.

“If you open up the walls you can’t stay in the building because there are so many river rats dead in there,” said one tenant who did not want to be identified.

The City of New London says on Monday, October 2nd, the New London Housing Authority received approval of its disposition application for Thames River Apartments from HUD Special Application Center. The approval of this application means the residents of the Crystal Avenue high rise development will be offered new opportunities for quality housing.

In a statement from Mayor Michael Passero’s office, the city says it is joining cities all over the nation that have moved away from the old model of subsidized housing represented by the Crystal Avenue development. New London is ending an era of isolating people in substandard housing.

“I believe that this is an opportunity for them to greatly improve the quality of their lives,” said Mayor Passero.

Related: City wants troubled public housing complex shut down

The mayor says the approval means the 124 families can get protection or portable vouchers to move wherever they want as long as it’s HUD approved.

“Absolutely I’m happy I”m very happy,” said Benita Christian who wants to move back to Norwich near family. For others New London is home.

“I don’t want to go a lot of places,” said the woman who didn’t want to be identified. “Just want to go right around town so I can walk downtown.”

News 8 reached tenant Christina Texidor by phone who was excited to hear she would be able to find an apartment with a private landlord who accepts people in the HUD program.

In November 2016 Texidor showed News 8 her apartment which she said was infested with mice and mold. The mayor says the city will do what it can to help those who want to stay somewhere in New London.

“We’re going to start with the families that have children in the school system and make sure their accommodated first,” said Mayor Passero. “But we’re confident that we’ll be able to accommodate all the families that want to stay in New London.”

Once the complex is empty the property will most likely never house another apartment building. The area is zoned industrial.

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