Local News

Controversy brewing over proposed public housing community

Posted August 13, 2008 11:22 p.m. EDT
Updated October 6, 2008 10:15 p.m. EDT

— Plans for a housing community in downtown Raleigh took center stage at a heated meeting Wednesday evening.

A non-profit group, Community Alternatives for Supportive Abodes (CASA), wants to take over the George's Mews Apartments at the corner of Glenwood Avenue and Washington Street. Their plan calls for turning the units into affordable housing for the disabled and low-income families.

“I like the fact that it's an older neighborhood built in the '20s and '30s,” George's Mews tenant Nathan Hays said.

Hays has lived at the complex for about a year. His girlfriend, Ashley Wampler, just moved in about a month ago.

"I don't even have everything out of boxes,” she said.

The couple is concerned by CASA's plan to take over the property because they don't want to move.

They aren't alone. Many people turned up for an informal town hall meeting Wednesday evening about CASA's plan. Some residents living near the apartment complex made it clear that they don't want CASA moving in as a landlord.

“CASA's objective is to maintain this property at its current standard, at a minimal expense,” one person attending the meeting told the crowd at the meeting convened by the Historic Glenwood Brooklyn Neighborhood Association.

However, other neighbors didn’t see it as a negative move.

“I have talked to a lot of people that has CASA in their neighborhood and I have not had one person tell me they've had a problem with CASA,” Jeannine Grissom said.

However, progress could come at tenants' expense.

“I don't want to move, but I can't afford to buy a house in this neighborhood,” George's Mews tenant Jacob Sutherland said.

The City Council already signed off on its portion of the proposal that covers about $600,000. County commissioners will soon decide on their $600,000 to make this a done deal.

If the plan goes through, only people with incomes between $20,000 and $30,000 will be eligible for units at the George's Mews Apartments.

The Wake County Human Services Board/Housing and Revitalization Committee will take up the issue Thursday, Aug. 21 at 3:30 p.m.. The meeting will be held at the Waverly F. Akins Wake County office building at 337 S. Salisbury Street.