At my request, CCTA Chair, Rick Hopkins, has appointed a Committee to study the issues surrounding the New Bern Housing Authority Craven Terrace rehabilitation project.
You will recall that at the NBHA meeting we attended, we learned that the NBHA Commissioners know little about the project and have been excluded from what little planning that has been done, and that the residents don’t like it, and the architect was unhappy about it because he was working from inadequate information, the two funding programs involved were contradictory in some of their directives, and he believes inadequate study has been done.
Apparently nobody knows much about the details of the project, but the residents’ discontent seems to stem from the suggestion that each unit contain a dishwasher, but no washer or dryer hook-ups. Instead, there would be sixteen washers and one folding table (very unworkable arrangement) in a laundromat that the residents say would be unsafe especially at night as they say it would be a place in which various kinds of “deals” would be done. The residents also don’t like the fact that the RAD program would mean that the footprint of the units would remain the same, and the facades would remain the same as well. Apparently, some of the units have tiny kitchens and no place for a family to have meals around a table. What is contemplated appears to be cosmetic changes to most existing units at $85,000 a copy and tearing down a few units that are in the flood plane. This would leave a huge cancerous ghetto in a prime location in the city of New Bern – no improvement for the residents, and no improvement for the community.
I do know now that a FOIA request to the NBHA has gone unanswered, and the results of a prior FOIA request have not been made public.
I am very concerned that a large amount of taxpayer money might have been misappropriated and is unaccounted for. It is another case of taxpayer money going to quasi government entities so that the public no longer has a means of monitoring it’s use. I believe this is by design.
We had thought a resolution to approve a “Revenue Bond” issue to fund the project would be on the agenda at the meeting last Tuesday of the New Bern Board of Aldermen. However, that agenda item was deferred until this Tuesday, August 19th, the night of our CCTA meeting at Stanley Hall. The BOA meeting starts at 6:00 PM and, of course, our meeting at 7:00 PM. I am asking that all members who can, come early enough to go to the Board of Aldermen meeting first and then leave that meeting in time to attend the CCTA meeting (Legislative Update with Norm Sanderson, Michael Speciale, and Pat McElraft). Any one else interested is welcome to join us.