Five affordable housing developments received Housing North Carolina Awards on Sept. 27. Sponsored by the N.C. Housing Finance Agency, the awards recognize outstanding affordable housing that can serve as models for other communities. More than 700 people attended the 23rd annual awards luncheon during the N.C. Affordable Housing Conference at the Raleigh Convention Center.
Housing North Carolina Award winners:
- Barefoot Ridge is an 43-home community in Clyde that provided new housing for flood victims in the wake of two hurricanes, allowing them to continue living in the area and saving the town’s tax base. The development was led by Mountain Projects Community Action Agency of Waynesville in partnership with Haywood County and the Town of Clyde.
- Dogwood Manor, Oak Run and Sycamore Park are part of Fayetteville’s Carolina Commons, a large-scale revitalization of a downtown public housing complex. The 284 privately owned apartments for families and seniors were developed by United Developers of Fayetteville and The Communities Group of Maryland, with support from the City of Fayetteville, the Fayetteville Metropolitan Housing Authority and Cumberland County.
- Mingo Village Apartments is a 76-unit development that overcame several hurdles to bring much-needed housing for working families in Knightdale. It was developed by Evergreen Construction Company of Raleigh.
- Hospitality House in Boone is a unique homeless shelter that offers emergency, transitional and permanent housing serving seven rural mountain counties. It was developed and is operated by the Hospitality House of the Boone Area, Inc., with support from Watauga County.
- Serenity House is a domestic violence shelter in Moore County that was completely rebuilt within a year of being destroyed by a fire. It was developed and is managed by Friend to Friend of Carthage.
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.
The N.C. Housing Finance Agency is a self-supporting public agency. Since its creation in 1973, the agency has financed more than 206,000 affordable homes and apartments. The N.C. Housing Finance Agency is joining the N.C. Housing Coalition and the Community Investment Corporation of the Carolinas to sponsor the N.C. Affordable Housing Conference: Housing Works, Sept. 27-28, in Raleigh.
Additional information about the award winners:
Barefoot Ridge, Clyde
Barefoot Ridge is a 43-home community in Clyde that offered people a way to rebuild out of the flood zone after two devastating hurricanes hit the region within a week in September 2004. The neighborhood helped flood victims regain some of the equity they had lost and – by enabling them to stay in Clyde – shored up the faltering tax base of the town, which has a population of just over 1,300.
Mountain Projects Community Action Agency of Waynesville spearheaded the development. They joined with USDA Rural Development, multiple agencies, state representatives and community leaders to create a vision for offering permanent housing options out of the flood zone. The Town of Clyde and Haywood County obtained a state grant to purchase property, and Mountain Projects established a line of credit for property development. Reduced lot prices allowed flood victims to receive more than $20,000 in equity in their new homes.
Families chose their own lots, and those with limited incomes were offered financing help. Mountain Housing built 16 of the homes and brought in private developers, the Haywood County Habitat for Humanity and local volunteers to build the rest. All were built to Energy Star standards.
Nestled in the Western North Carolina mountains, the homes vary in style and design, ranging from 988 to 1,400 square feet. Sales prices ranged from $136,000 to $227,000. The North Carolina Housing Finance Agency provided gap financing to some buyers.
Barefoot Ridge was named in memory of Tom Barefoot, a USDA official who was instrumental in the town’s recovery efforts and who passed away during the subdivision’s development.
Dogwood Manor, Oak Run and Sycamore Park, Fayetteville
Dogwood Manor, Oak Run and Sycamore Park are part of Fayetteville’s Carolina Commons, a large-scale revitalization of a downtown public housing complex that has already had a $125 million economic impact on the city according to local Chamber of Commerce estimates. The three apartment complexes were developed by United Developers and The Communities Group with support from the City of Fayetteville, the Fayetteville Metropolitan Housing Authority and Cumberland County. The three properties provide housing for nearly 300 North Carolinians and their families and building them supported 927 jobs.
Dogwood Manor offers 36 apartments for seniors while Oak Run and Sycamore Park provide 248 family apartments. The senior community comprises one- and two-bedroom garden apartments, ranging from 800 to 985 square feet. Amenities include a library, hair salon, exercise room and a game room. The two family communities offer two- and three-bedroom apartments, ranging from 985 to 1,482 square feet, and feature playgrounds.
All three communities include gazebos, grilling stations and access to the East Coast Greenway, 3,000 miles of trails stretching from Canada to Key West. The developments were built to Energy Star standards and match local architecture, varying from garden-style to townhome apartments. Rents start at $317 for the three developments, topping out at $528 for the senior community and $805 for the family apartments.
The Old Wilmington Road revitalization is integral to Fayetteville’s Downtown Renais¬sance, which calls for preservation of the city’s historical heritage. The proposed site design combines semi-urban residential layouts with the neighborhood’s historic agricultural roots. Six acres of community gardens complete the pedestrian-friendly neighborhood.
Dogwood Manor, Oak Run and Sycamore Park were financed with funding from the City of Fayetteville, Hope VI funds and federal and state tax credits awarded by the N.C. Housing Finance Agency.
Mingo Village Apartments, Knightdale
Mingo Village Apartments is a 76-unit development that brought much-needed housing for working families to Knightdale and supported 243 local jobs. Developed by Evergreen Construction, Mingo Village overcame serious challenges during its four-year development, which began just as the recession took hold. In addition to difficulties caused by the withdrawal of investors from the rental market, the project overcame a series of hurdles to gain local and neighborhood approval. The developer persisted and used each change to improve the product.
The resulting property offers one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments and many amenities, including a basketball court, a sand volleyball court, a badminton court, two shuffleboard courts, horseshoe pits and a playground. Benches and bike racks are located throughout the property. Residents have access to a multipurpose room and a computer center. Apartments range from 751 to 1,253 square feet and feature large rooms, a washer and dryer hookup and private balconies. Rents range from $335 to $750 per month.
Mingo Village quickly leased up to 100 percent, becoming home to 76 families that included daycare teachers, nursing assistants, retail managers and sales clerks and customer service reps.
The development was financed with federal and state housing credits awarded by the N.C. Housing Finance Agency.
Hospitality House, Boone
A unique model for serving the homeless, Hospitality House of Boone provides emergency, transitional and permanent supportive housing under one roof, along with services that help residents transition back into the community. Hospitality House is the only shelter serving seven rural mountain counties (Ashe, Avery, Allegheny, Mitchell, Wilkes, Watauga and Yancey) where more than 1,200 people can be homeless on any given night.
A four-year undertaking , Hospitality House consolidated three old downtown facilities into one. Emergency shelter of up to 90 days is available for 26 individuals while transitional housing that includes a family center is offered for up to 24 months for 29 men, women and children. Nine rooms offer permanent housing for individuals and families that have a history of repeated homelessness and a disabling condition. The shelter also includes a playroom and playground for children, a computer lab and a “reflection” room.
Hospitality House’s Bread of Life community kitchen serves three meals a day and provides food boxes to those in need in the community. Hospitality House also offers mail service, showers and laundry facilities to community members who may not qualify or want to stay in a shelter.
Architectural elements such as stonework and timber framing and a well-designed courtyard make the facility an attractive addition to the community. Input from Appalachian State University interior design students resulted in rooms more reflective of typical living environments, such as efficiencies and suites, and warm, soothing colors throughout. The building incorporates green features, such as low flow toilets and water faucets, tankless water heaters, high-efficiency heat pumps and foam insulation.
Services address employment, education, permanent housing, mental health, substance abuse and medical needs. Residents must be substance-free, help with daily chores and attend daily meetings. The shelter’s wellness initiative includes three garden projects that provide vegetables and fruits for the community kitchen and a bike loan program.
The Housing Trust Fund, managed by the N.C. Housing Finance Agency, provided financing for Hospitality House, and Watauga County donated the land and secured and administered a CDBG grant for the shelter. Additional funds came from Hospitality House’s Combined Campaign – Giving Hope a Hand.
Serenity House, Moore County
Serenity House has provided services to more than 12,000 survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault since 1990. When a fire destroyed it in 2011, Friend to Friend, the shelter’s nonprofit sponsor, led an extraordinary effort to have rebuild it in under a year and under budget. The end result is a new certified-green, energy-efficient shelter that accommodates up to 36 guests, nearly twice its previous capacity.
The shelter features private bedrooms that keep women and their children together. There also is a large living area, a fully equipped kitchen and a playroom. A front porch and a screened-in porch provide calm areas for guests, and outdoor kennels help families who don’t want to leave pets behind.
Serenity House is the only domestic violence and sexual assault shelter in Moore County. In one year alone, it served more than 2,200 survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault, providing nearly 1,000 counseling sessions and offering nearly 100 education sessions in the community. While the majority of guests are from Moore County, the shelter also serves victims from surrounding counties and states who are fleeing from abusers.
Clients have access to mental health services, classes on health living and career training. Friend to Friend provides clients with comprehensive therapy, connects them with other community resources and lengthens their stay in the shelter to allow time for them to become self-sufficient. Most clients who stay more than 72 hours ultimately find permanent housing.
Friend to Friend also operates a 24/7 crisis line and a court advocacy program and provides community education, counseling services, legal aid and accompaniment to hospitals and courts. Community leaders call Serenity House one of the most vital social services in the area.
The N.C. Housing Trust Fund, managed by the N.C. Housing Finance Agency, provided financing for the rebuilding of Serenity House. Additional support came from local organizations and companies that donated funding.