Crescent Valley public housing

Five years ago, the New Brunswick government promised to build new public housing units in Saint John's Crescent Valley. (CBC)

Some former residents of a demolished Saint John public housing development are wondering what happened to promises new housing would be built in its place.

Five years ago, the provincial government planned to tear down 88 units in Crescent Valley and unveiled plans for 1,375 new units.

But so far, the only development underway in the north end community is the new YMCA, which is being built on some of the land that had been earmarked for public housing.

Shelly Adams, who used to live in one of the now-empty lots along Churchill Boulevard, says it's difficult to see the city celebrating the new YMCA and forgetting about the people who were moved out in 2009, with promises they could come back.

"It's an awesome thing. My son goes to the Y every day. They're great people. It is a good asset to the community. It's a great thing," she said. "However, what about us?"

Her former neighbour, Andrea White, agrees.

"This still is home," said White, who can still see the tree that used to be in her front yard and holds out hope that it will be again some day.  "We still walk through here and it still is home."

The provincial government says there are still plans to rebuild housing on the lots across the street from the new YMCA, but officials could not say when that might happen.