YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - Click on the slideshow to see photos of the new housing development.
The Youngstown Metropolitan Housing Authority cut the ribbon Friday on its new housing development on the city's North Side.
The Village at Arlington replaces the Westlake Terrace Housing Projects, which was one of the oldest housing projects in the country. They were built 75 years ago.
The $20 million project included the demolition of the old buildings.
There are 120 units at the Village at Arlington, ranging from one bedroom to three bedrooms and fully equipped with energy-efficient appliances. All of the units are full.
YMHA officials said the new development represents a new chapter for residents on the North Side.
"It's gonna make a definite difference in people's lives. And that's what we want to do. We want to give families a safe, nice neighborhood to live in and I think that is what we've done," said YMHA Executive Director Carmelita Douglas.
Alice Freeman lived at Westlake Terrace for nearly 50 years and is now proud to call the Village at Arlington her new home.
"At first when they said it (Westlake Terrace) was coming down, I was upset. But as you can see now it's just something really beautiful," Freeman said. "But the changes have come and like I said, it has come full circle. This is the end and I'm glad I was able to wait and see it come to fruition."
The development offers more than just living space. It also has a community building, a club house, a library area and a computer lab. The development hosts family events, such as a Halloween party held on Thursday.
And that family oriented atmosphere attracted the Colvin family.
"For the environment. For my daughter. It's new and safe. Because I work midnights and I want my family to feel safe at night," said resident Delaunte Colvin.
Freeman said it's not hard to see the difference.
"A lot of people come back and they just don't realize that it's not Westlake. It's still in our hearts, but it's a different development," she said.
In addition to city and county officials, also on hand for Friday's ceremony was former Youngstown mayor Jay Williams, who is now in Washington, D.C., serving as the executive director of the U.S. Office of Recovery for Auto Communities and Workers.
President Obama recently appointed Williams to the assistant secretary of commerce for economic development, which will head the Economic Development Administration.
Williams said the EDA is critically important for investing in distressed communities across the country.
"As a matter of fact, the Mahoning Valley and the city of Youngstown recently received an EDA grant to help form a comprehensive economic development strategy," Williams said.
Williams still needs to go through a Senate confirmation hearing before his position is official. He expects that to take place in four to six weeks.
He was Youngstown mayor from 2005 to 2011.
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