Former residents and staff of the A. Harry Moore public housing complex reunited yesterday for the grand opening of 66 new homes built at the site of the notorious public housing complex.
The Gloria Robinson Court Apartments, a low-rise development on Duncan Avenue near Routes 1 & 9, are replacing the 664-unit public housing development that consisted of seven, 12-story towers.
Among the guests attending the event was 80-year-old Gloria Robinson, for whom the development is named. The mother of 11, a former Jersey City Housing Authority commissioner and Duncan Avenue resident for 40 years, worked tirelessly to improve the quality of life for her fellow residents.
Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah T. Healy and Bishop Robert Blount of Jersey City's Emmanuel Pentecostal Church, who managed the buildings from 1981 until 2004, also attended.
Robinson led a movement to remove a previous housing administration in the 1970s when residents endured non-working elevators, broken heating units and trash in the hallways.
Robinson said she was "ecstatic" to have the development named after her, but also loved the community that was there before the residents were relocated for construction.
"It broke my heart when I saw the old buildings being torn down," Robinson said. "I hope as many of the people who were relocated come back to these beautiful homes as possible."
Of the 66 apartments, 58 are considered affordable and eight are market-rate rentals, officials said. The development includes six one-bedroom units, 28 two-bedroom units, 26 three-bedroom units and four six-bedroom units.
Tenants of the A. Harry Moore complex who were relocated are given priority on the waiting list.
The Gloria Robinson Court Homes is part of the three-phase HOPE VI Revitalization program, which when complete will replace 664 public housing units.
The second phase is in full swing and will deliver 78 more units, said JCHA Executive Director Maria Maio. Three towers still have to be demolished, Maio said, and the next round of HOPE VI federal funds will allow the third and final phase to get under way. The total number of new units planned for the development is 326.
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