JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT ) — New homes are sprouting up across downtown Jacksonville through the city’s revitalization program.
Over the last six years, 20 abandoned and dilapidated buildings have been torn down to make way for the new homes.
“When you combine that with the new homes that we are putting back, it helps build the tax base and it helps improve the overall experience of the downtown area,” said Dr. Richard Woodruff, city manager.
New homes are being constructed along Poplar, Court and Newberry streets in the downtown area. The city provides housing assistance to help families move into these homes.
A major milestone for the program will occur next Wednesday when the city tears down its 100th abandoned building.
Resident Ruel Weatherly said she is pleased with the work the city is doing.
“I think it’s a good thing they are doing,” Ruel Weatherly said. “Making people come back to the city of Jacksonville itself will be a good thing for all.”
But proposed FEMA flood maps could prevent future development in the program.
“HUD regulations do not allow a low-income home to be built in a flood zone,” Woodruff said. “So while this area has technically never flooded, the increase from four feet to ten feet will eliminate that program.”
The city is working with FEMA to make sure the maps are accurate and plans to find alternate solutions to keep the program in place.
Also, next Wednesday, the newest resident of the downtown housing program will receive their new home.