Kinston apartments fail to meet young professional’s needs

Kinston apartments fail to meet young professional's needs (Image 1)

Apartments intended to address the shortage of homes for young professionals are not living up to their name.
That’s according to city leaders in Kinston who once supported the project.

DaJarae Bacote is a first year teacher making $28,000. She came to Northeast Elementary with the Teach for America program and from the very beginning wanted to live in Kinston.

“It was slightly difficult finding housing, not being familiar with the area, and also it being a small town,” explained DaJarae Bacote.

With the challenges at hand, Bacote was looking forward to an up and coming property situated not far from work. It’s Cambridge Farms on Doctors Drive.

“I was so excited,” said Bacote. “I thought it would be a good place to have that involvement and be around your peers.”

To Bacote’s dismay, she found out she was ineligible to live at the property since the maximum income requirements started at $21,000 for one person and $35,000 for six people.
Council members say that’s contrary to what was presented in 2013.

“When this apartment complex was marketed, it was marketed for a place for young professionals,” explained Wynn Whittington, councilman.

On April 15 2013, Michael Weaver with the developer, Pendergraph Companies, stood before the city council and told lawmakers that police officers, starting teachers and beginning computer programmers were their sweet spot.

“I was very disappointed because as a young professional, more than likely, your salary is going to be above that $21,000 mark,” Bacote explained. “So you find yourself in a bind where it’s hard to find affordable housing because you don’t meet certain benchmarks that you can afford.”

“We’re going to have to look for other options because there’s nothing illegal about it, but we’re not happy about the way it was marketed,” said Whittington.

The company responded to WNCT 9 On Your Side’s request for comment, but declined to go on record.
School superintendent Steve Mazingo says he too is disappointed since he wrote a letter of support for the property believing it would help potential recruits.

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