Saying NO to Tarboro Street Housing For At Least 3 Reasons


Affordable housing in historic districts and Wards should be looked at as a sustainable method of housing development. Buildings are durable commodities that can be used for decades. The addition of historic districts, which Rocky Mount has seven, into the housing equation is a win-win for the community. We already have in place guidelines that require close attention to the built environment as a whole, which helps to protect people’s investment in our housing assets. Rather than building affordable housing over on Tarboro St., plopped down in a transient setting, we want singles, renters, 1st-time homeowner, retired folks living in neighborhoods. There is affordable housing of different sizes that may not be at its best but is savable, and once restored, house by house you have a neighborhood feeling good about itself again. You have diversity, woven into the fabric of neighborhoods that have been home to our Rocky Mount story and are home again to our next chapter.


The PARKING that will be needed for a flourishing and successful Event Center, and a revitalized downtown, cannot be highjacked. Definitely not for the wrong answers to affordable housing. Evidently, there are members on the City Council and their insiders who no longer care about the needed parking, as if the success of the Event Center and Main Street no longer matter to them. This suggests to me that they have moved on to the next idea of taking what they can and leave the taxpayers with the bill. I suspect that this information meeting is a rouse to cover what they believe is a predetermined outcome. A large attendance saying no is necessary for these reasons and yours. Make the best case you can.


Taxpayers have no reason to believe the city forces will change their trend line in this latest proposal;  lining someone’s pockets, letting the taxpayers subsidize this housing.  In summary: We have a vote of no confidence in leadership, we must safeguard our parking, and pursue the right solution for affordable housing by investing in what we already have, which will restore our existing Ward neighborhoods and historic districts.

PLEASE NOTE: The location of a Tuesday information session on a planned multi-family workforce housing development on Tarboro Street has been changed.
The public meeting will now be held in McBryde Auditorium on the Rocky Mount campus of Edgecombe Community College. The time of the meeting hasn’t changed and is still set for 5 to 7 p.m.
The Development Finance Initiative at UNC-Chapel Hill’s School of Government will facilitate the session with an hourlong open house followed by a presentation and question-and-answer segment. The City Council has committed to conveying property between 218-242 Tarboro Street via sale or lease to a development partner.


10 thoughts on “Saying NO to Tarboro Street Housing For At Least 3 Reasons

  1. Stepheny, the city has been trying the affordable housing in various ways throughout the city and for various reasons. The latest attempt is ‘Beale St housing’. I don’t know if there is much information on that yet. The existing vacant homes near downtown such as those on Pearl, Grace, and Franklin could easily be claimed for affordable housing and would “blend” the cultures and age groups without clustering. Once upon a time, the city issued grants and homeowners fixed those homes up and painted them beautiful pastel colors. It was like a little burst of the rainbow in uptown Rocky Mount. They still had the historic charm we so love. I am very disappointed in the way our city is being run but if we wait to address that issue before moving forward with the housing and jobs issues, nothing will ever get done! Corruption has been a brazen part of Rocky Mount for a very long time and I am uncertain as to why it is all of a sudden moved to the forefront now. I just know it needs to be handled so that we as a city can move forward. The last couple of years have been very taxing on the citizens. I hope to be able to make the meeting on Tuesday. It will be interesting at best.


    1. M Taylor, your comment has made my day. I want everyone in Rocky Mount to read this. Thank you! Not sure how we can find one another, but if you go to the meeting, we must meet. I want to give you a hug and have a quick visit. Let’s figure out how we can talk more. How did you get so wise?


      1. I hope to meet you as well. I have another meeting before the time of the meeting tonight but I am going to try to make it. I have been a lifelong resident of Rocky Mount and I have followed the highs and lows, the government’s rise and fall, of progress in this town. Our once “city on the rise” has sadden my spirit lately. The things that are going on now have got to be corrected. Sooner rather than later!


  2. I feel that the parking issue was never really going to use the tarboro street area. I believe the parking deck was in the works since day one. As for affordable housing. Why does it have to be downtown. Why not invoke the owners of these building to fix them up with apartments above the stores that people could live in. As well as enforcing the current building codes. There are s lot of houses being rented to people by the room. With multiple people in s room. That needs to stop.


  3. Spot on Stepheny!

    Countless studies have closely examined the nature of social interactions and social ties in large compact housing communities comprised of apartments and cluster housing. Generally, these studies found that while some interaction occurred between residents of different housing statuses and ethnicities, the interaction was typically non-communicative in nature and resulted in few social ties. When social ties did occur, respondents described these relationships as being more superficial.

    Conversely, historic neighborhoods offer diversity in both housing types and cultural behaviors while effecting neighborhood economic and social change for the better. This in turn builds positive social and cultural behaviors that will act as a catalyst for city wide economic and social change for the better.

    Which path will the tax payers of RM choose?


    1. THANK YOU for helping us get our minds wrapped around what is the best approach to our need for affordable housing? (For those who are single, entering the workforce at a lower paying start, older or retired folks and young marrieds, 1st home buyers.) Mentioning social interactions in connected with ‘cluster housing’ should be added to the list of considerations in finding the best possible outcome. This is helpful.


  4. I am in agreement that we do not need a subsidized housing community in downtown or in that particular location of Tarboro St. What I disagree with is the fact that the issue of affordable housing and the alleged corruption in our city, while perhaps indirectly linked, are two completely separate issues and should be addressed as such. Affordable housing in Rocky Mount is a major issue because of the state of our economy and our jobless rate. Having said that, putting subsidized housing in any historic district is not the answer.


    1. THANK YOU, M Taylor, for this helpful addition to what is best? I appreciate you pointing out that two of the issues should be addressed separately. Normally, we could, and will, once the corruption pattern is stopped and those responsible are punished. Are you coming to the information meeting and will speak to jobs, jobs, jobs and the economic needs of the community? I hope you agree with my larger point which is to make use of our existing affordable housing scattered through our Wards/Neighborhoods that are a suitable answer on many levels. Maybe you can take a moment to comment on what and where is the answer. We sure need one. Keep me company with all of this. I can use your thoughts on the matter and so can the community.


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