Morton Simpson Homes
The Morton Simpson Homes, originally the Kingston Public Housing Project, also known as Morton Simpson Village, is a 456-unit public housing project operated by the Housing Authority of the Birmingham District (HABD). The community is located at 4600 8th Court North in the Kingston neighborhood of the East Birmingham community. Eldridge Knighton is president of the community's resident council.
The project was constructed in the 1950s to provide 500 units of public housing to African American families at a cost of $6.5 million.
Development of the public housing coincided with the Avondale Urban Renewal project, the second such project in Birmingham after the clearance of slums for Southside's Medical Center. The new project would accommodate 500 families, most of whom were displaced from substandard houses in the urban renewal area two blocks south. Compared to the Southside slum clearance, the Avondale urban renewal project met with less resistance. The HABD appointed a Citizens' Advisory Committee headed by John Streeter which supported the project. Some residents of the existing neighborhood objected to its characterization as a "slum," despite their own efforts at improving properties and others questioned why the city chose such unwholesome districts for black housing. The Birmingham Real Estate Board supported urban renewal, but opposed public housing on the principal that it competed unfairly with private development.
In the late 1980s, the Birmingham Police Department staffed a police substation at Morton Simpson Village.
Some funds from the American Recovery Reinvestment Act of 2009 were applied toward repairing a leaking roof at the project's gymnasium. In 2018 HABD announced plans for interior and exterior upgrades and repairs in the complex, including potentially removing some units.
- Connerly, Charles E. (2005) "The Most Segregated City in America": City Planning and Civil Rights in Birmingham, 1920-1980. Charlottesville, Virginia: University of Virginia Press. ISBN 0813923344
- Norris, Toraine (March 24, 2009) "Cooper Green Homes to get federal money". The Birmingham News
- Edgemon, Erin (February 21, 2018) "Birmingham's Morton Simpson Village to undergo makeover." The Birmingham News