DALLAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – A Dallas public housing development years in the making is finally ready to provide some much needed help for the elderly. The brand new Roseland Homes in east Dallas will be the new address for poor senior citizens needing public housing.

Belinda Struggs has lived in the neighborhood her entire life. The 63-year-old Dallas resident is only seven years younger than the red brick housing units built for African-American families in the segregated Dallas of the 1940’s.

“When my grandmother stayed here, we could sleep outside. They had beautiful yards. It was really nice over here,” she recalls.

Roseland is blossoming once again. On Thursday, the Dallas Housing Authority, along with top elected leaders from the city and county, unveiled the latest addition to a $100 million, 15-year redevelopment of the oldest public housing community west of the Mississippi. The new Roseland units are built for low-income seniors and the disabled, including people like Belinda Struggs. They are also the latest showcase of today’s public housing in Dallas — housing mixed among private developments, with emphasis on short term living.

“This is public housing. But, we have people moving in and out of these housing units, as they no longer need them,” said Maryann Russ with the DHA.

Four thousand families fill Dallas Housing Authority developments like Roseland Homes and another 18-thousand depend on housing vouchers. That is why DHA wants tenants moving up economically, so they can move out and free up units for others in need.

“Public housing does not become a 50-60 year proposition. But it does what it originally was designed to do, provide a boost for people that need help,” said Terdema Ussery, DHA’s Chairman

Belinda Struggs, and some of her neighbors have decades of history here. This new development and new focus, centers on providing affordable housing for seniors and others, while shortening the time people will need it.

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