Norris Homes Set to be Demolished, Leave Behind Rich History

Albert Hill sits in his crowded living room, amongst piles of possessions and packing supplies.

Hill, 87, will be moving soon after receiving notice that he and his other neighbors will have to vacate the Norris Homes to make way for a new mixed income housing development.

Hill has lived in the Norris Homes for the majority of his adult life; over 50 years. It’s where he and his wife moved their young family after leaving Atlanta, Georgia, where his two younger children were born, and where his wife and two of his children died.

“This is where we’ve been all our lives. Live here. And now they getting ready to do something else and we gotta move out and there’s a possibility that we could come back,” said Albert.

Not only has he outlived a great deal of his family, but in a few short months, he will outlive his current home.

This isn’t the first time Albert has had to move for a renovation.

“Tore this thing down we had to move out of here for a couple of years up on the other street, then they rebuilt it then they brought us back,” he told us.

The Norris Home demolition is part of the Choice Neighborhoods Initiative under the Department of Housing and Urban Development to revitalize neighborhoods, improve schools, and provide a safe place to raise families. The Philadelphia Housing Authority received the $30 million grant from HUD in 2014, but now, the project has become a reality.

Demolition will take place in April 2018, and the new complexes are expected to be built within 12 months of the demolition.

Some residents may even choose to return.

But the new buildings cannot replace the old memories.

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