December 16, 2016

New Hope Manor Revitalization Moves Forward

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The Winston-Salem City Council’s Finance Committee recently gave their reluctant approval to HAWS’ plan to revamp the troubled New Hope Manor apartment complex. After months of debate and examination, the matter will now go before the entire city council.

Apparently, the finance committee feels like its time for the city to act. After all, the city council isn’t a debating society. Nearly every council member has expressed misgivings about the Housing Authority’s plans. They don’t trust HAWS’ plan entirely. But after months and no relief for the residents at New Hope Manor, it’s time to move forward with a solution for New Hope-even if the solution isn’t perfect.

New Hope, after years of neglect, is pretty close to being irredeemable. Tearing the place down and starting anew might be the best solution. But the city doesn’t have the resources to relocate residents from New Hope Manor. Demolishing the apartments and rebuilding simply isn’t feasible.

While the city has the capacity to oversee the HAWS to a large extent, they don’t set policy. HAWS sets the agenda. Winston-Salem City Council has been reluctant to endorse HAWS’ plan. Rehabbing New Hope Manor in the short-term, with full knowledge of future plans to demolish the complex with federal funds but in the end, what choice do they have? Their only alternative appears to be to do nothing.

Earlier this year substandard housing conditions at Rolling Hills apartments and at New Hope Manor apartments became a major news story here in Winston. Roaches, sewage leaks, units in disrepair at both apartment complexes suddenly jumped to the top of the Winston-Salem City Council’s agenda.

The problems at Rolling Hill, located off of New Walkertown Road, have been relatively easy to address. The absentee owner of Rolling Hills found an apparently more responsible owner to purchase the property.

A Colorado-based real estate conglomerate agreed to buy Rolling Hills and make substantial investments in each unit. The deplorable conditions at Rolling Hills will be elevated in the coming months. Residents should benefit greatly from the change of ownership.

New Hope Manor has been a festering problem for months now. Given the deplorable conditions that the residents of New Hope are enduring, it’s a shame that urgent action hasn’t been taken. Quite simply, there aren’t any good options at New Hope.

Forsyth County GOP activist and prominent attorney Bob Crumbley own New Hope Manor. This was a disastrous investment for them. They were in over their head from day one and are incapable of turning Rolling Hills around.

HAWS plan for New Hope is to purchase the property. Demolish a portion of it and renovate the remaining buildings. Ultimately HAWS hopes to get grant funding from HUD to raze New Hope as part of the proposed Cleveland Avenue restoration project.

Robert Clark and Denise Adams both mentioned that there are a lot of properties in Winston that need help. Councilman Clark stated that the need far exceeds the resources that the city has.

 

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