Local News

Halifax Housing Community Residents Are Not Pleased with Grant

Posted June 4, 1999 7:00 a.m. EDT

— Residents of the Halifax Housing Community have a beef with theRaleigh Housing Authority. It is over the "HOPE-6" grant that provides federal money for rebuilding run-down housing communities. Some residents wonder what type ofhopethe program really offers.

Childrens' playful screams can be heard more often than police sirens, these days, in the Halifax Court Housing Community.

"The kids are free," says a resident, "they can run wherever they want to and basically everybody over here knows each other and each others' kids."

"I've been the president over here, five years, and this place has changed a lot," says Bonita McClain.

McClain is spearheading a petition, using a form letter addressed to Washington, requesting the complex be remodeled rather than torn down and rebuilt.

"We have got day care, we have got a safe haven so parents can take their kids instead of going all across town," she says. "They get to take their kids and go straight to work."

However, the complex is 60 years old and its 300 plus units are showing their age. Walls and roofs are crumbling in some apartments.

The cost of renovation versus new construction is about the same.

Steve Beam is with the Raleigh Housing Authority. He says the new development will be half the size of the current complex.

"We expect to demolish Halifax Court as it stands and replace it with single-family homes, an elderly center, some town homes, and villas," says Beam.

Beam says while the new development is being built, families will be relocated to other subsidized housing around the city. The Raleigh Housing Authority should receive word on the status of the grant application in the fall.