WINSTON-SALEM, N.C.– Winston-Salem City Council is considering allowing Unity Builders of High Point to begin redeveloping Ridgewood Place, a neighborhood that’s been incomplete since 2010.
Unity Builders is proposing to buy 12 of the 58 empty lots in Ridgewood Place for $5,000, build houses for ranging from 1200 to 1500 square feet, and then market them to potential homeowners that make at or below 80% of the area’s median income.
Tim Harris already owns a house in Ridgewood Place and says he would like to see the rest of the neighborhood finished. “Actually since it’s been empty the value of my house went down, ” Harris said.
City Councilman James Taylor says the redevelopment would provide much-needed affordable housing and be good for the area around the neighborhood that the city wants to see revitalized.
“I think when you come into communities like these and start to build around homes that have dropped in value, you will see values raise and people put more of a sense of pride in community back into their neighborhoods,” Taylor said.
Partners for Homeownership owned the neighborhood until it went out of business in 2010. 72 lots were developed but the remaining 58 were deeded to the city in lieu of foreclosure.
City staff recommends the project, which would allow nearly $15,000 in down payment and mortgage assistance funds for qualifying homeowners using private and federal funds like HOME Investment Partnership money.
If phase one is successful, Unity tells city council it would be interested in buying more of lots in Ridgewood Place.