Roosevelt Manor is a public housing project owned and operated by the Housing Authority of the City of Camden.
Money was allocated to build 800 new units of public housing in Camden in 1950.
When Roosevelt Manor was planned, public housing was segregated in Camden, and Roosevelt, like Chelton Terrace, was planned for the many black families who lived in Camden’s Centerville section.
Built in the early 1950s along with McGuire Gardens in East Camden, Roosevelt opened as an integrated project, but for the most part did not integrate.
Built with a central heating system that was meant to support all of the project’s buildings through underground pipes, Roosevelt Manor by the 1980s was suffering from serious decay.
As many problems that the project had were caused by the residents and their associates as were due to age and poor design and maintenance.
By the 1990s Roosevelt Manor had become a notorious locale for drug dealing and the associated violence and crime that accompanies it.
The Housing Authority of the City of Camden pursued a dual strategy in the late 1990s. The Authority pursued HOPE VI demolition and redevelopment grants and simultaneously used money earmarked for modernization to upgrade existing projects.
As bad as conditions were at Roosevelt, things were worse elsewhere. As there was no guarantee that a Hope VI grant would be issued for Roosevelt Manor, significant funds were poured into the site to upgrade the development. New pitched roofs and facades were put on, individual boiler rooms were erected for each building, and many kitchens and baths were rebuilt.
Unfortunately all the money spent on the site did not help. Not all the work done was of good quality, and at the time the behavior of many of the residents of Roosevelt and the surrounding areas caused the project to be as unlivable as it ever was for those trying to work and live in peace.
After HUD stepped in things began to change. Under the direction of Dr. Maria Marquez, the authority’s Executive Director, an unheard of third HOPE VI grant was won by the Housing Authority for Roosevelt Manor in 2004, with the intent of demolishing and rebuilding the 50 year-old development.
Roosevelt residents were relocated elsewhere in the city in 2005 and 2006. By the fall 2006 Roosevelt Manor had been vacated and was ready for demolition. Demolition should have proceeded immediately, but had been delayed, apparently through no fault of the Housing Authority. Unfortunately, during this period, which began around September of 2006, the property was vandalized and drug activity did not cease, and neighboring Branch Village became what one resident described in early 2007 as “pure hell”.
Roosevelt Manor finally was demolished in the spring of 2007. With HopeVI funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Roosevelt Manor was rebuilt.
Residents In The Spotlight
I Sylvia N. reside at Roosevelt Manor 5 for the last 10 years now. I am handicapped and I do not drive
anymore so it is hard for me to get out at Food Banks or places that help people out with food, but having
Mr. Fred Roldan as my Social Service Coordinator has been a blessing to me.
Mr. Fred has helped me out time and time again, he looks out for me, making sure I have food in my
house and every now and then Mr. Fred calls me to see if I am okay and I can also call Mr. Fred anytime
when I need help from 9 to 5 - Monday to Friday and if he can hel you he will. Mr. Fred is the only Social
Service Coordinator since I have lived here that goes out of his way to help people like me and so many
who are in need, and every chance I get I thank Mr. Fred all the time.
District Council Collaborative Board: Angel M. Osario
City Council President: Curtis Jenkins Vice President: Marilyn Torres Councilman (2nd Ward): Victor Carstarphen
Join our partners in supporting us
Our team continuously strives to make Roosevelt Manor an inclusive, supportive living space. Our goals for improving the quality of life for our residents include raising funds so they can update the computers in their lab, upgrade their community center, and are in need of volunteers. Can you help us achieve these goals?