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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Some in Historic Springfield say a proposed development by Ability Housing would send the community "several steps backward."

At the center of the debate is the Cottage Avenue Apartments. Right now, the 12-studio complex is home to several families. Ability Housing wants to make it available for low-income and homeless veterans.

"This is a huge threat to the neighborhood," said JoAnn Tredennick, Vice President of the Springfield Preservation and Revitalization Society.

She said there's concern over the lack of background checks that will be done, and moves against the neighborhood's attempt to make the community more family friendly.

"This proposed use is unacceptable," she said.

Shannon Nazworth, the Executive Director of Ability Housing, said people that are concerned just don't have all the facts.

"Because of this information, they're really gotten upset over something that I genuinely don't believe they need to be upset about," she said.

Nazworth said the veterans that move in will have access to a Veterans Affairs hospital, and though may have criminal histories, they'll sign a lease and be held accountable.

"If they have behaviors that break the leave, we will evict people," she said.

Both sides have scheduled meetings to deal with the concerns. A public meeting is set for Thursday evening.

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