Crystal Towers Resident Who Was Run Over In The Street Is Determined Not To Get Pushed Out Of Downtown Winston

Last month, a resident of Crystal Towers was hit by a car at the intersection of West Fifth and Spruce. When I learned about the accident on Twitter, I had a sneaking suspicion that I knew who the victim was. The Journal’s Allison Lee Isley’s photo of an empty wheelchair in front of an EMS vehicle confirmed my suspicions. The victim was, in fact, D.D. Watkins, a wheelchair-using friend of mine who was trying to get back to Crystal Towers on a Friday afternoon when an SUV ran her over. I spoke to D.D. while she was recovering at Wake Forest Baptist and again after she returned home to Crystal Towers.

Ashley Gets Land, But The Neighborhood Gets Blamed For Inaction

Monday afternoon, the City Council’s Finance Committee unanimously approved selling City property in the area of New Hope Lane and East Twenty-First Street to the WS/FC Schools, to be used for a new Ashley Elementary. The full City Council will vote on the matter next Monday. Finally, local officials are moving to acquire land for a school that desperately needs replacing. Eunice Campbell and other activists that spoke before the City Council last month deserve a lot of credit for getting the City and WS/FC Schools to strike a deal. The lots in question were optioned to the Housing Authority in 2005.

Breaking Crystal: HAWS Has Assets, Move HAWS And Save Crystal Towers!

“The Housing Authority of Winston-Salem is not your traditional housing authority. It’s the only one in the state that’s also a certified real estate firm. It’s a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers…” -Owen Covington, Triad Business Journal, Feb 18, 2011

Last August the Winston-Salem Housing Authority announced that it was putting Crystal  Towers on the market. Our local housing authority loves the market; HAWS hates public housing, they’re ‘innovative’ like that.

Breaking Crystal: What We’ve Learned In The Year Since HAWS Announced Plans To Sell Crystal Towers

It was one year ago to the day that the Housing Authority of Winston-Salem (HAWS) announced that it was putting Crystal Towers up for sale. The 11-story high-rise located at 625 West Sixth Street in downtown Winston-Salem, opened in 1970 and is home to approximately 200 residents.* According to Heather Fearnbach, the woman who wrote the book on Winston’s architectural heritage, Crystal Towers was the city’s first high-rise dwelling erected since the late 1920s. Crystal Towers, (along with its sister high-rise, Sunrise Towers) was designed to serve as housing for the elderly. Today, one hundred percent of Crystal Towers’ residents are elderly and or people with disabilities. These are the last folks that the Housing Authority should be evicting.

New Out-Of-State Owner Of Greenway Village Apartments Is Evicting Tenants With Records

“Mass evictions are taking place at the Greenway Village Apartments.” That’s what a friend of mine with Housing Justice Now told me on Saturday.* I stopped by Greenway Village Monday afternoon to see if I could verify what I had been told and to encourage anyone facing eviction to fight back. The Greenway Village Apartments are located just behind the former St. Phillips Moravian Church. The one-story frame apartments were built in the late 1940s to address a severe housing shortage after World War II.

Responding To The Chronicle’s East End Commentary

“The most important thing about the East End is the people.” -Ayers Saint Gross, 8/21/2018

Earlier this week The Chronicle wrote an editorial that was aimed at this website without mentioning it by name. The Chronicle’s, Commentary: Our View: East End redevelopment was an attempt to convince The Chronicle’s readers that there is nothing to see, nothing going on in the “East End” that’s worthy of sharing on social media. But the photos I posted on Facebook (and the article I posted on the subject) tell a different story. And they attracted enough attention to merit a response from The Chronicle.

Winston-Salem City Council Merry-Go-Round: February 18, 2019, Robert Clark Is Right!

Monday night’s meeting of the Winston-Salem City Council started out as expected. A moment of silence was observed, then the pledge of allegiance was recited, members of the community were honored before the council addressed the business of the city. A recently announced, city wide hiring freeze due to a projected budget shortfall was not mentioned, neither was the loss of another corporate headquarters, as BB&T’s bigwigs make their way to Charlotte. But City Hall certainly heated up 11 minutes into the meeting. That’s when Councilmember Robert Clark spoke in opposition to spending  $333,570 on a disparity study.

Neighborhood Park On Second Street Was Originally Planned Site For Innovative Affordable Housing

“The unfortunate reality is that most affordable housing looks exactly like what it is and adds to boundaries that quietly separate race, culture, and class.” 

 -David J. Brown, The Home House Project

 

In 2003, the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Arts (SECCA) launched an ambitious undertaking, with the goal of nothing less than re-imagining affordable housing. SECCA invited architects from around the world to submit housing designs that were inexpensive and easy to build, but also artistically compelling and environmentally friendly. SECCA’s Home House Project was a smashing success. But over 15 years later, here in Winston, we have little more than a modest new park on Second Street and a remarkable book by MIT Press to show for SECCA’s efforts to produce a blueprint for innovative, affordable housing units. In the end, SECCA’s efforts to rewrite the rules of affordable housing was no more successful than R.J. Reynolds’ efforts to produce and market a smokeless cigarette in the late 1980s.

Avoiding Eviction Shouldn’t Be A Game Of Chance

“I’m one step away from being the person on the street.”  -Cleveland Avenue Resident

Lots of folks enjoy games of chance, even though they know that the odds are stacked against them. Such games are a mainstay of the Dixie Classic Fair. Beating the odds, taking home a silly prize, that’s the game. And that’s great if you’re fifteen and want to impress your girlfriend to such an extent, that you’re willing to leave the fair with empty pockets. But, none of us would tolerate having a good or service that we desperately need being reduced to a game of chance.