It’s About To Get A Little Easier For Crystal Towers’ Residents To Cross Sixth Street

Crystal Towers is conveniently located in the heart of Downtown Winston-Salem, at 625 W Sixth St. The Housing Authority of Winston-Salem had a buyer lined up to redevelop Crystal Towers, but HUD wouldn’t let them sell Crystal during a pandemic. Crystal Towers’ residents are just a short walk from the Central Library (when it reopens), restaurants, and the modest amenities that DTWS has to offer. But crossing Sixth Street is no easy task for many of Crystal’s approximately 200 residents, slowed down by age and/or various medical conditions. Often motorists in a hurry to get in or out of downtown exceed the speed limit on Sixth Street on their way to Trade or Broad Street.

HAWS Has Failed To Take Steps To Address The Coronavirus Disease

While the governor has declared a state of emergency, it’s business as usual for the Housing Authority. The Housing Authority of Winston-Salem is not taking proactive measures to protect its residents from a potential Coronavirus/COVID19 outbreak. Yesterday, after inspecting Crystal Tower’s lobby and first-floor common areas, I saw no signs that any measures had been implemented to address the potential spread of the Coronavirus Disease. Additionally, I spoke to a custodian at Crystal Towers that confirmed that no new cleaning or disinfecting measures were in place at Crystal. (I also stopped by Sunrise Towers and observed the same conditions) When I asked the receptionist at the front desk if hand sanitizer was available, she moved her small bottle of sanitizer from the back of the desk to the front of the desk, inviting me to help myself to it.

Black History Expo Reaffirms Happy Hills Historic Importance

“Happy Hill!” “Black history!” The voice of Ben Piggott rang through the Sims Recreation Center Saturday. Ben Piggott, a longtime rec center manager and organizer in Happy Hill, served as MC for the first-annual Happy Hill Black History Expo. The Happy Hill Neighborhood Association hosted the event.

Fries Memorial Moravian Raises Funds To Provide Piedmont Circle New Playground Equipment

Saturday evening, local law enforcement and politicians-Sheriff Bobby Kimbrough chief among them hosted a spaghetti dinner fundraiser at Fries Memorial Moravian Church. Their goal was to raise $15,000 to upgrade Piedmont Circle’s pathetic playground. According to WXII, they exceeded their goal by $3,000. Eighteen thousand dollars for new playground equipment at Piedmont Circle is a wonderful thing. I commend the diverse group of folks who came together to make this happen.

HAWS Promotes Kevin Cheshire And Looks To Facilitate Sale Of The Skyline Village Apartments

Yesterday, the Winston-Salem Housing Authority named Kevin Cheshire its new executive director. Kevin Cheshire previously served as the Vice President of Real Estate Development and General Counsel at HAWS, where he has been employed since 2013. He replaced Larry Woods, who retired at the end of December. Cheshire told the Journal’s Wesley Young that “the mission of HAWS stays the same: To help individuals move in, up and out of assisted housing.”

Our local housing authority has a shameful history of evicting tenants “out of assisted housing.” Kevin Cheshire is the first white leader of the Winston-Salem Housing Authority in decades.

HAWS’ CEO Larry Woods Is Retiring

Larry Woods officially announced his retirement yesterday at the Winston-Salem Housing Authority’s monthly meeting on the third floor of the Loewy Building. Woods fought back tears as he accepted a plaque from HAWS’ Board Chair, Arthur King. Larry Woods has been the Chief Executive Officer of HAWS since December 2006. His retirement has been long rumored. A replacement for Woods is expected to be named soon.

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.

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.

New Hope Manor Revitalization Moves Forward

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.

City Council Notes: DTWS Strip Club Zoned Out Of Business, Rolling Hills Bonds Approved

Here’s a look at some highlights from Monday’s full meeting of the Winston-Salem City Council. 

A resolution honoring the Winston-Salem Chapter of the Top Ladies of Distinction, INC was approved. A resolution honoring the city’s SOAR, Successful Outcomes After Release Program was approved. More job programs are needed to reintegrate ex-prisoners back into society. SOAR received 120 applications for the eight slots available in the program. Ordnance renaming a disconnected section of Maple Street to Earline Parmon Drive passed unanimously.