Miami Herald (Sunday)

Hoping to return to Scott Carver, 22 years later


Miami-Dade County still has not done right by the former residents of Scott Carver housing projects after we were kicked out in 2001.

Despite promises that we would have the right to return when new and improved housing was built on the site, that still has not happened for many former tenants, 22 years later.

I am one of those former residents.

This month a new documentar­y called “Razing Liberty Square” has been released, documentin­g the demolition of another housing project, Liberty Square. One of the broken promises made to some of the residents of Liberty Square was the promise of a right to return when the new housing was built. Despite those promises, many residents were pushed out.


It was the same promise that was made to us at Scott Carver but it never materializ­ed for those of us the system claims to have lost — or made no effort to find. I’ve been here all along.

In “Razing Liberty Square,” tenants who were promised they could stay in Liberty City were instead given Section 8 vouchers to leave their long-time community roots and support behind.

The same exact thing is happening to me now, as I hold a Section 8 voucher to live an hour away in Homestead.


In its Pulitzer-prize winning series “House of Lies,” the Miami Herald documented the fraud and millions of dollars wasted from the federal HOPE VI dollars earmarked for the rebuilding of Scott Carver.

The Herald also documented how the county failed residents of Scott Carver and “lost” them.

More than 1,000 residents of Scott Carver were forced to move all over the county. It took more than 10 years, after protests and even lawsuits, for the county to really start rehousing the displaced tenants. Even then, many of us did not get a chance to return to our community.


I’ve bounced around in housing from North Miami-Dade to Liberty City. When I would check in with Miami-Dade’s Public Housing and Community Developmen­t, I couldn’t get clear answers about being able to return to Scott Carver.

At one point, I gave up trying to get answers. It was so frustratin­g waiting in offices only to be told that they don’t know what I’m talking about.

I recently tried again to see about returning to the new housing eventually built at the Scott-Carver site. “No,” I was told by an employee with MiamiDade’s public housing, that would not be possible. They said the program to return displaced Scott Carver residents to the community is long gone.

I drive past the new affordable housing built for people like me at the Scott Carver site, and wonder, how is there no place for me in Liberty City, the community I have long called home?


I get so frustrated.

There was so much harm done to us by the county and fraudulent developers. Of the more than 1,000 of us kicked out of Scott Carver, maybe just under 100 returned — 10 years later.

Many of us remain out here and want to come back home. The House of Lies that began 22 years ago in Scott Carver continues into Liberty Square today, but maybe, finally, there can be some truth, some delivering on the promises made.

Give us the right to return. We’re still here.

Deborah McCloud, former Scott Carver housing tenant, is a member of the Miami Workers Center.

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