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Rocky Mount projects target need for affordable housing

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Construction workers from Del Toro Concrete Works, Inc. smooth out concrete on the steps leading up to a new housing unit at Beal Street Square Apartments.

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BY LINDELL JOHN KAY
Rocky Mount Telegram

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

ROCKY MOUNT — Developers are moving forward with three apartment complexes meant to meet affordable housing needs of Rocky Mount residents.

The median two-bedroom rent in Rocky Mount is $800, up 3.8 percent since the same time last year, according to Apartment List, a real estate aggregate website. Despite a significant increase in the overall rental stock, the rental stock at the lower end of the market continued to fall. Nationwide, the share of occupied rental units less than $800 fell by 27 percent from 2005 to 2016.

As rents increase, the need for affordable housing is greater than ever, according to local officials.

Beal Street Square Apartments, Ravenwood Crossing and a new apartment complex on Tessie Street recently have opened or are under construction. The three complexes will offer a total of 168 units.

The groundbreaking and construction of Beal Street Square Apartments and Ravenwood Crossing topped the list of community-oriented endeavors for Tasha Logan Ford, one of the city's assistant managers who is leaving soon for a job in another North Carolina municipality.

“The neighborhood engaged with staff and the developers for the Beal Street project to be realized,” Logan Ford said. “Safe, decent, affordable housing equates to a better quality of life for individuals, families and the city as a whole.”

Beal Street Square Apartments celebrated its grand opening with a ribbon-cutting ceremony in November. Local and state representatives as well as officials with the N.C. Housing and Finance Agency were on hand to celebrate the milestone.

Beal Street Square Apartments is comprised of 80 affordable housing units, 20 one-bedroom units and 60 two-bedroom units. The complex also boasts a community center, 24-hour fitness center, laundry facility, computer lab, children’s playground and outdoor picnic shelters.

The start of construction at Ravenwood Crossing was marked by two celebrations held in November and hosted by developer The Woda Group. The new, affordable rental community will be for families, singles and seniors in Rocky Mount, located at the site of the former Clairmont Apartments.

Ravenwood Crossing will offer 80 new townhome units, including nine one-bedroom, 36 two-bedroom and 35 three-bedroom townhomes. Units will feature bright, open-concept living spaces, washer-dryer hookups, Energy Star appliances and covered porches. Amenities include a community building with management offices, a multipurpose room, laundry, fitness center and computer rooms. Several units will be handicapped-accessible. There will be an outdoor play and picnic area, according to plans.

South Eastern North Carolina Community Development Corp. signed a construction contract in November to build eight new one-bedroom handicapped-accessible apartments on Tessie Street. Construction began in December, said Cynthia Battle, executive administrative assistant at the Rocky Mount Housing Authority.

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