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Federal Grant Money Brings New Life To Downtown Raleigh Neighborhoods

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RALEIGH — Towns and cities across the state are getting federal help to improve public housing. The money is bringing new life to neighborhoods in Raleigh once known for their drugs and crime.

Progress is bulldozing its way through downtown Raleigh and rebuilding pride among neighbors.

An old cotton mill is being refurbished to house commercial businesses. The center piece of the construction boom is the demolishment of the 60-year-old Halifax Housing Community.

Robert Eddington lives across the street from the run-down Halifax Housing Community. He says the demolition will make the area a neighborhood instead of a war zone.

"We couldn't give this place away two years ago," he says. "People would not come to our yard sales."

Eddington says he would not have dared moved his family into his house when he bought it a couple of years ago. He recently moved back from Wake Forest.

"Even though I was buying the house, until we found out that they were being torn down, we would never live here," he says.

Eddington says more residents are venturing out in the area.

In addition to the new construction of the cotton mill and the new housing community, 97 homes are scheduled to be built just off Blount street. The starting price is around $250,000.

Raleigh received $3.86 million to improve complexes and fight drugs and crime. Rocky Mount and Wilson each received $1.5 million.

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Ken Smith, Reporter
Greg Clark, Photographer
Kamal Wallace, Web Editor

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