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Residents Uneasy As Overtown Community Meets To Discuss Soccer Stadium

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Community activists may have crossed a line trying to stop David Beckham's from building a soccer stadium in Overtown.

Earlier this week they even posted fake eviction notices in the neighborhood.

It certainly got everyone's attention including the county's public housing director, who's furious over it.

The fake eviction notices were placed on the doors of Culmer place.

If you look closely you can see it's really an ad for Thursday's community meeting.

Fake Eviction Notices
Just hours after David Beckham announced soccer would be coming to a new stadium in Overtown, eviction notices appeared at the public housing community right across the street from the stadium site. (Source: CBS4)

Organizers are saying there are plans to wipe out public housing around the stadium.

The county is firing back saying that just isn't so.

"I was outraged," said Miami-Dade Public Housing Director Michael Liu. "I was disappointed that somebody, some group, would misinform our residents."

Liu added that the folks at Culmer Place should not be concerned.

"No, they don't have anything to worry about," he said.

The notices came from a group headed up by Bishop James Adams.

"Listen we say we are sorry but there was a greater good that was at foot," James said to the crowd at the meeting. "It was no to alarm you, scare you but it was to get your attention."

Adams has discovered two year old plans submitted to the federal government to renovate Culmer.

He believes today it's the stadium, tomorrow it could be 250 residents evicted.

"We just can't continue to lay down and allow things to happen," Adams said. "Someone has to speak.  I believe it's my call and my job to speak for those that do not have a voice."

Liu says the renovation plans are just that; a plan. One required by the federal government should money suddenly become available.

"There are no plans to evict," Liu explained. "We would certainly like to get all the money in the world so we can rehabilitate and make our units A1. But we don't have that. We would like to."

Even if they do get funded one day, Liu says he would do his best to keep every resident in their home.

"I would challenge anyone to go to Culmer Place and say you know what I think some improvement would be good," he said. "We want to have the best possible housing for people in public housing."

Liu went on to say that any demolition or building would start with community input.

Some residents are quite skeptical though.

"I think in the long run they are going to skittle and scattle and all of this is going to be a parking lot," Saunders said.

Liu has sent two of his staff members to tonight's meeting.  He hopes they will be able to thwart any misinformation.


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