Fayetteville, N.C. — The federal housing department Thursday approved a $20-million grant to improve two public-housing developments along Old Wilmington Road into a mix of public and private residences.
The Hope VI grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will be part of $113 of public and private funds that city officials expect to be invested in Old Wilmington Road area over the next five years.
The Fayetteville Metropolitan Housing Authority plans to transform two public-housing developments, Campbell Terrace and Delona Gardens, into a neighborhood of mixed-income rental and individually-owned residences.
"The Hope VI grant is vital to the revitalization of the Old Wilmington Road area, and we are so happy the Housing Authority received it," Mayor Tony Chavonne said.
"Our downtown has been rejuvenated in the last few years, and this will further enhance our downtown renaissance," he added.
Builders will replace "249 units of distressed public housing ... with modern housing that reflects the architecture of Fayetteville and seamlessly blends the residential and natural environments with the urban center," according to a FMHA press release.
The new development will comprise 223 public-housing units and 624 private residences, including single-family homes, townhouses, cottages for seniors, walk-up apartments and a complex for seniors.
FMHA will assist current residents with finding other public housing or transitioning into private housing, according to HUD.
"This funding not only gives cities the resources to build quality affordable housing in these communities; it also improves the quality of life of the residents who live in the public housing," HUD Secretary Jackson said. "I'm glad Fayetteville will join other cities across the country that have used these grants to transform neighborhoods and lives."
Chavonne said he sees this project as a natural extension of the $63 million in public and private investment that has revitalized downtown over the past eight years.
"This is more than just redevelopment in the Old Wilmington Road area – it is an economic catalyst of $113 million in our downtown that will positively affect every citizen's life," Chavonne said.
Commitments by the city, Cumberland County and Fayetteville's Public Works Commission – including vacant city land and funding – were keys to getting the grant, city officials said. HUD selected Fayetteville's housing authority, along with those in Boston, Washington D.C., New Orleans and Phoenix, from a pool of 29 applicants.
"Getting to this point has been a real team effort," Chavonne said. "I want to thank the many citizens who have been involved, especially the housing authority and the hundreds of residents that helped make this happen.
"It's Fayetteville's time."