Winston-Salem’s $30 million neighborhood grant

The Housing Authority of Winston-Salem once again is applying for a $30 million federal grant for improvements to the area around Cleveland Avenue Homes.

What’s interesting is the City Council’s debate on the grant application. The issue—expanding the boundary for the grant that would include Old Salem and Innovation Quarter, which are not blighted areas:

East Ward Council Member Derwin Montgomery pointed out that expanding the grant boundary would beef up the HAWS application by allowing the millions that have been spent in the Innovation Quarter and other nearby areas to count as community investment in the grant area.

Fellow council member Vivian Burke, however, wanted assurances that the money would go toward Cleveland Avenue—so much so that she threatened to use a “rare parliamentary procedure” –a “motion of no consideration”—to kill the grant application altogether:

“I am disappointed in some of you,” Burke said. “It seems like you don’t want to take the time to explain to the people what this is about. The people sitting up there in Cleveland Avenue public housing have not even attended the meetings.”

All I have to say is $30 million is a lot of money, so it will be interesting to see what becomes of Cleveland Avenue Homes should the grant be approved.

Sam Hieb / Contributing Editor

Sam Hieb is freelance journalist from Greensboro, North Carolina. He is a contributing editor for Carolina Journal and for Piedmont Publius, a blog that focuses on political a...