Local News

Changes at Halifax Court a Positive Move for Residents, Neighboring Community

Posted March 13, 2000

— The Halifax Court public housing complex in Raleigh has a bad reputation, but that reputation is about to come crumbling down as a new complex goes up.

In six months, the current low-income housing complex will be torn down. A new, mixed-income public housing complex is already taking shape.

The project is part of a $29 million federal grant aimed at revitalizing urban, out-of-date public housing communities.

"It's a very synergistic approach to bring everybody together and making the whole community come together," says Steve Beam of the Raleigh Housing Authority.

Beam, who is heading up the effort, says the good that will come from it stretches beyond the boundaries of Halifax Court.

"Just look at the development that's taking place right now. There's a charter school that just went in, and they're developing some office space on adjoining property that has been vacant for 40 years," he says.

In nearby Mordecai, Ken Jacobson is breathing new life into his old home with some renovations. The value of his house has more than doubled in the last few years.

"I've seen a tremendous growth in renovation of older properties which is what I like to see," he says.

Local realtors say the perception of crime associated with Halifax Court used to keep potential homeowners and businesses at bay. People are now willing to invest in the community.

"It's going to really change the character of the neighborhood," says real estate agent Chris Yetter. "You're going to see more and more people buying these smaller homes that have been left empty for 25 to 30 years."

The 300 families who live at Halifax Court can choose to move into other public housing or use vouchers to rent elsewhere. So far, about 60 percent of residents have moved.

The new complex will consist of town homes and single family houses. It is expected to be complete in four years.

The grant will also allow residents in the Mordecai area to get low-interest loans to fix up their homes.


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