Local News

Bull City Giving New Life to Estes Street

Posted June 6, 1999

— People in Durham are trying to build better futures for those less fortunate. Instead of bulldozing a old houses, the Bull City is fixing them up. The project makes the city look nicer and provides more affordable housing.

Many of the homes on Estes Street are run down and in need of repair. Next door, homes are revitalized and rebuilt with new owners living inside.

The project is a cooperative effort between theDurham Department of Housingand the Durham Community Land Trustees. They are not just changing houses -- they are changing lives.

Delores Denny, her daughter, LaToya, and their dog, Coby, lived in an apartment for years. Today they have their own home on Estes Street; a street the Durham Department of Housing is in the process of turning around.

"This street, Estes, a long time ago, I know a lot of people who used to live on this street, and they told me it was very bad over here, a lot of liquor houses and drugs," says Denny.

There are still signs of those times; abandoned, dilapidated houses that police say are used for drugs and prostitution.

The majority of these houses are being rebuilt and revived. Some have new owners and some are waiting for owners.

"What we are trying to do is revitalize the community," says Anita Laney, with the Durham Department of Housing. "We are really trying to create affordable, adequate housing for everyone in the community."

The city bought the run down houses, got federal matching funds for the renovations and then recruited low income residents.

Marshall Williams hopes to move in this summer.

"It has helped me a great deal to have an affordable home," says Williams, who says he could not afford such a home without the city's help.

Ten houses have been renovated on Estes Street, and the city hopes to renovate even more.


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