I love the HGTV shows that are about saving, restoring, and preserving houses. Two programs, in particular, bring hope and inspiration when thinking about our Rocky Mount neighborhoods near downtown. Good Bones concentrates on old neighborhoods in Indianapolis that are coming back because of their proximity to downtown. The second show is called Home Town filmed in Laurel Mississippi. Their architectural inventory is similar to ours. The process and results are fascinating.
I know there are investors and contractors working in our neighborhoods who deserve recognition and applause for what they contribute: saving neglected and abandoned homes, some houses where no one should be living in the first place. Our shotgun, bungalow, and four-square homes are ideal for smaller families, singles, retired people, and the big need, workforce housing. When you rebuild neighborhoods and make them safe again, when you add pride of ownership and neighbors who will look out for one another, you have a winning strategy for lowering crime. This benefits the downtown core areas as well.
I want to remind you that those who rig the system for grant application money, need low income, low homeownership and high unemployment statistics to qualify. Just how incentivized does that make them to enforce ordiances, improve housing in their Wards, or welcome new investors/businesses, who offer employment?
HGTV programs demonstrate how a neglected house that seems unredeemable can be saved. When the time comes that we see our bedraggled properties consistently being turned into homes to be loved and enjoyed once again, we’ll know three things. 1) Those who rely on keeping our statistics suppressed have been voted off the Council and others who get special treatment no longer have direct access. 2) The housing we already have has become a priority and will be a blessing to us. 3) The word gentrification is no longer used as an excuse for inaction but defines decent housing, safe neighborhoods, and pride in what has been improved.
Some before and after photographs saving one house at a time
HGTV HOME TOWN Video Clip of a Cottage Just Right for Rocky Mount: CLICK HERE