Four housing developments and the cities of Asheboro and Jacksonville received Housing North Carolina Awards on Oct. 15 for excellence in affordable housing.
Sponsored by the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency, the 25-year-old statewide awards recognize outstanding rental, home ownership and supportive housing developments that can serve as models for other communities.
In Asheville and Jacksonville, partnerships between city government, the Habitat for Humanity affiliate and private builders created attractive, affordable neighborhoods that have improved both communities. The city of Asheboro was recognized for its support for affordable housing, particularly its investments in two rental developments for families near downtown. A rental development in Cornelius captured an award for providing high-quality apartments for working families that are convenient to businesses and downtown. Winners in Wilmington and Charlotte created safe, state-of-the-art living environments for individuals making the transition back into society after incarceration, and for victims of domestic violence.
The winners were selected for affordability; design (attractiveness, energy-efficiency); contribution to the community; sustainability as affordable housing; and features such as services for residents and creative partnerships.
Approximately 1,000 people attended the 25th annual Housing North Carolina Awards luncheon during the N.C. Affordable Housing Conference at the Raleigh Convention Center.
The winners were:
- Carney Place, Asheville, a 22-home neighborhood created through a partnership between the Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity and the city of Asheville that produced a community of energy-efficient, single-family homes in the trendy West End area, that is otherwise beyond the price range of moderate-income residents.
- Downtown Housing Initiative, Jacksonville, where the city worked with private builders and the local Habitat to turn the dilapidated Cox Avenue/Court Street area into a new, vibrant neighborhood that also offers parks and an amphitheater.
- The city of Asheboro, for providing loans and municipal support to the Asheboro Mill Lofts and Sunset Place, two developments that transformed abandoned manufacturing mills and condemned houses into apartment communities that provide residents easy access to downtown amenities.
- Antiquity Heights, Cornelius, a 96-apartment community developed by Solstice Partners of Cary that is part of a smart-growth community named Antiquity, offering moderate-income residents affordable housing close to jobs and downtown.
- Marvin E. Roberts Transitional Living Facility, Wilmington, a state-of-the-art facility created from a former jail that offers housing and re-entry assistance for men and women released from prison. Developed by Leading Into New Communities, Inc., with support from the city of Wilmington and New Hanover County, the facility provides work training and education opportunities that have helped keep the recidivism rate of residents to less than 12 percent.
- Clyde and Ethel Dickson Domestic Violence Shelter, Charlotte, a new 80-bed facility that replaced a much smaller shelter and allows clients longer stays than the previous 30-day limit. Since its opening, more than 100 women and children have found safety at the shelter, which was developed by Safe Alliance with support from the city of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County.