Reasons Why This Housing Development Game Should be Cancelled – A Team of Ineligible Players – Part 2

The famous Bill Bradley during his years at Princeton.

Many years ago Princeton University’s basketball team came to Chicago to play the DePaul Blue Demons, coached by Ray Meyer. My husband (a Princeton graduate) and I went off to see the game. Princeton’s slow and deliberate offense was in sharp contrast to the fast break basketball the University of Kentucky plays. It was at UK that I learned what real basketball is about under Adolph Rupp, the man in the brown suit. Do you know the expression – watching wet paint dry? For me, this is exactly what the Princeton game felt like. Out of utter frustration, and before I stopped myself, late in the first half I yelled from the stands, “Shoot the damn ball!” I received a look from the man I was sitting next to in his Princeton cap, my husband, that said, “It is obvious you do not understand the finer points of the game.”

Perhaps I still don’t understand the finer points of what is going on in city government. I am impatient to see for myself what the investigation into wrongdoing, graft, and mismanagement shows. I don’t want to be told by those under investigation what the results say from their auditor or lawyer — the word these days is transparency and nothing less will do. The City Council’s game plan is to try and retain their positions on the team.  The matters at hand, however, are a slam dunk and the game buzzer has gone off.

We can’t possibly think about playing this Tarboro housing game under the current management. It isn’t even the right approach to providing affordable housing! No locker room pep talk can negate a loss of trust and confidence in the people who have been masterminding the skullduggery that’s been going on. Why would we let them have another go at it, at the taxpayers’ expense? We must have a new coach and recruits that will create a further tax base, not strap us with a further burden that only benefits those behind the skulduggery curtain.


Older and historic neighborhoods contribute far more to America today than a sense of evolution and history. Older and historic neighborhoods, unlike any other areas, are providing homes for families from every financial stratum, but particularly for those in need of affordable housing.

I’ve been championing Shotgun housing throughout our historic neighborhoods that are near to the Historic Downtown Center.  “People of all income brackets are attracted to historic neighborhoods because of the quality of the housing, because of the investment protection that a local historic district often provides, because there is usually a wide range of housing styles and sizes available, because typically there are citizen activists committed to advocating for the neighborhood, and because there are few tools other than local historic districts that can defend a neighborhood against inappropriate uses, out-of-scale development, low-quality construction, and the encroachment of objectionable uses. Because the number of households looking for neighborhoods with those characteristics exceeds the supply, historic neighborhoods are in high demand. The answer is not to have fewer historic districts – the answer is to provide historic district protections to more neighborhoods.”    – Donovan D. Rypkema for the National Trust for Historic Preservation


See You  Tomorrow On The Road to the Final Four Part 3






9 thoughts on “Reasons Why This Housing Development Game Should be Cancelled – A Team of Ineligible Players – Part 2

  1. I just drove by the 200 block of Tarboro Street. It is a partially paved empty block with no trees, directly across from Edgecombe Community College, surrounded by commercial buildings. It does not feel sheltering, or safe, or welcoming. Why would anyone choose to live here? The integrity of a welcoming community is just a few blocks away…even though it needs work…maybe especially because it needs work, it would be better for Rocky Mount. I used to live on the Edgecombe side of town; loved it.


  2. Nice thought however what happens to historic renovated houses values and the affordability of the increased taxes, upkeep costs etc…focus on equality in pay and opportunities for employment and lower incomes become middle class incomes.. low income housing become mixed income housing that doesn’t require taxes, upkeep cost etc. Historically renovated housing plans are a sure way to gentrification in my opinion.


    1. Statistically that is not true. Historic neighborhoods offer numerous sizes and types of homes of varying prices. Generally, they have a mix of younger and older residents from varying economic and cultural backgrounds. Additionally, they are usually safer neighborhoods and experience lower crime rates–because historic neighborhoods tend to foster strong bonds between the residents who care about each other. The same cannot be said about “projects”, cluster housing and apartment communities—which tend to be more transient and have much higher crime rates. Countless studies have pointed this out for decades.


  3. Gentrification defined as a made-up word to keep slum landlords in business. At least, that’s my definition.

    Some years ago, I had a friend who volunteered to serve on our city’s “need for housing for low-income folks” commission. She got so disgusted, she got off before her term ended.



  4. I believe (as do countless others) that our architectural heritage is just as important as our cultural heritage. In fact, the two are intertwined and have been for decades and decades. Mirror reflections of people and places. A maker of the past and a catalyst to the future.

    If one accepts this fact, then it is easy to take the next step and view historic neighborhoods and the people who were part of the neighborhood and town as important. Important because they created the fabric of their neighborhood and their town block by block.

    It stands to reason then that if we destroy these neighborhoods or allow them to become replaced by alienating cluster housing and apartments, we are losing architectural heritage, cultural heritage along with the fabric of the town woven block by block over decades.

    Why would anyone want that to happen?

    More pointedly, why would city officials allow that to happen?

    I assert this collective heritage is irreplaceable.


  5. Stepheny, Thank you so much for your postings.I am in agreement that the housing situation shouldn’t be rushed into.


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