First Posted: 1/15/2009
RED SPRINGS - Helena McPhatter brags about the three-bedroom apartment that she and her three children moved into five months ago.
So when the owners on Willow Grove Apartments held an open house on Monday, McPhatter was anxious for her apartment to be a part of the public tour.
“It has been a great experience here,” said McPhatter, who is from Maxton. “It is affordable and I have good neighbors.”
About 75 state and local dignitaries attended the grand opening and ribbon-cutting of the new 24-unit site on Mt. Tabor Road, next to Food Lion. U.S. Rep. Mike McIntyre, Sheriff Ken Sealey and Red Springs Police Chief Troy McDuffie were among those who toured the one-, two- and three-bedroom units. The monthly cost ranges from $300 for a one-bedroom unit to $400 for a three-bedroom apartment.
It took two years to build and once it was completed in April, it didn't take long to reach capacity.
McIntyre said memories made at home are remembered the most.
“Having a nice home is a cornerstone of our country's health because it tells the story of the American dream,” McIntyre said. “It's in our homes that our families build stability and where they share the values that you hear people talk about so much these days.”
Six of the 24 units are designed for people with physical disabilities. There is a community building with a meeting room, a kitchen and a laundry facility. The building also has a computer with Internet access and a printer that can be used by residents.
Nearly two dozen people toured McPhatter's two-story apartment and other apartments after a brief ceremony. Maida Renson, president of Carolina Community Developers in Greensboro, said the $1.7 million project was funded by the N.C. Housing Finance Agency.
“Developers submit a package to an agency and compete against one another,” Renson said. “They award housing tax credits. The tax credits are shared with large corporations. They in turn put the money in so they are making an investment in the credits and in the community.
“So this was really built with private equity. But it was equity that was raised through the tax credits that was awarded by the state,” Renson said.
Mayor George Paris said such investments make the town more attractive to people moving into our area.
“We have great difficulty trying to attract investments because the job opportunities aren't here in the rural part of the state as they are in the metropolitan area,” Paris said. “It is always nice to come across an agency like the N.C. Housing Finance Agency.”