There was a packed house at the City of Raleigh 2030 Comprehensive Planning public meeting held on June 14th at Tarboro Road Center. People from all walks of life voiced concerns over the direction the City and its current council are taking that is continuing to make Raleigh a fragmented city of the have’s and have not’s. A city where people have to literally fight for housing as “Affordable Housing” is quietly being rebranded ‘workforce housing’ for middle income new comers. As this occurs, we see less funding going towards supporting low income residents who are being pushed out of the city and away from amenities, jobs, their families and transit.
A College Park resident stood to speak and held up a gallon of brown tainted water from her kitchen sink.
Flash back to 2015, the City of Raleigh developed a Neighborhood Revitalization Plan for College Park. Well, actually, not all of College Park, just ‘East College’ Park. The NRSA plan was submitted and approved by HUD even after several members of the community spoke out in opposition to the plan. Many felt they had not been included in the process and the plan reflected little to address the needs of the existing community.
The NRSA was eventually approved and certain things changed. For example, instead of selling off the 140+ lots land bank by the City over the last 20 years 50/50 for affordable verses market rate, they agreed to do a 60/40 split to increase the affordability of the houses. Still, almost two years after the NRSA was started, very few long term Southeast Raleigh residents know about the opportunity to buy back into a revitalized community.
Raleigh has given such a small amount of resources to the community development and people development over the years that this lack of accumulated interest cannot be disconnect from the results we’re seeing today with crime and drugs, especially with our youth.
Some time in 2016 there was another community meeting where the City discussed the infrastructure for ‘East College Park’ and the City decided they would not provide new water and sewage pipes to all of College Park, only for ‘East College Park’. Community opposition from long term tax paying residents was strong because people were concerned that the new water and sewage piping would impact their own water supply. The City steam rolled the infrastructure plans and awarded the $5 million dollar job to the contractor TL Loving.
Fast forward to last night! A long time resident and her family the expressed outrage over the brown water in their neighborhood and how it was impacting their lives. College Park, a neighborhood created by blacks in Raleigh shortly after the end of the Civil War! A neighborhood that is filled with many fixed income seniors who are now feeling the influx of middle income new comers and their new pipes.
She was told that the construction trucks were causing her pipes to produce the brown water. How exactly that conclusion was gathered? I would also like to know what type of issues an outside consultant would foresee when the newer and cleaner pipes are laid on the ‘East College Park’ side of one of our recently divided, most historically black neighborhoods. There will be issues as their pipes fight to keep up with the pressures of the soon to be, fast track, gentrified side of ‘East College’ Park.