HAWS opens new complex in old neighborhood

HAWS opens new complex in old neighborhood
November 12
00:00 2015

In above photo: On Friday, Nov. 6, the Housing Authority of Winston-Salem (HAWS) held a grand opening ceremony for Camden Station. The new apartment complex is located in East Winston. (Photo by Tevin Stinson)

By Tevin Stinson The Chronicle

For over 30 years, the Cleveland Avenue neighborhood in East Winston has been filled with abandoned buildings, vacant lots and public housing.

The Housing Authority of Winston-Salem (HAWS) says it’s making an effort to improve the neighborhood by building new housing.

But a number of people who live in the vicinity of the newest housing projects, Oaks at Tenth and Camden Station, say that although they are nice, they will never be seen as more than the projects.

“That space could have been used for something more productive and benefiting to the community,” said one resident. “They tear down one apartment complex and build another one. I don’t understand it.”

HAWS held a grand opening ceremony last week for Camden Station, located off East 12th Street. near Cleveland Avenue. It is a “step-up” from other housing locations recently constructed by HAWS, the organization says.

Camden Station is built on the site of a previous apartment building that was known to breed criminal activity.

Each apartment comes complete with new kitchen appliances and wood-like floors.

During the Nov. 6 ceremony, Mayor Pro Tempore Vivian H. Burke said she would look into getting a two-bedroom apartment at Camden Station for herself.

“I would stay here,” she said. “When people say there aren’t any nice places to stay in East Winston, they are wrong, and Camden Station proves that.”

With all that said, CEO Larry Woods said funding was the issue when asked about the next step in HAWS’ redevelopment plan, which includes redeveloping Cleveland Avenue Apartment Homes and bringing businesses to the area.

“We are excited to be accepting applications for Camden Station as our plan to revitalize this area.” Woods continued. “Our next step in our plan is to redevelop the Cleveland Avenue Apartments. We are now seeking funding for that  project.”

Just two years ago, Oaks at Tenth, another low-income housing development less than a stones throw away from Camden Station, started accepting applications.

In 2012, the Housing Authority unveiled a four-year plan to revitalize the neighborhoods around Cleveland Avenue.

According to Woods, the plan would stimulate private investment and rebuild the entire community. The plan promised residents landscaping, new parks, an expanded library as well as retail shops.

The four-year plan is in year three, and local residents are waiting to see what the Housing Authority will do.

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