Rocky Mount, N.C. — Rocky Mount held a groundbreaking ceremony for a flagship affordable housing project downtown on Thursday.
City leaders hope the Five Points Crossing complex will help address a need for additional living spaces and economic development in the city center.
The $9.4 million project is a public-private partnership between builder Woda Cooper and the city, funded in part by HUD Community Development Block Grant funds and low-income housing tax credits through the NC Housing Finance Agency.
“It’s going to be for 50 quality units, 28 one-bedroom units and 22 two-bedroom units,” said Woda Cooper Senior VP Denis Blackburne.
The project is set to finish by summer 2023, and the focus will be on affordability.
To live at the complex, residents will have to make less than 60% of Rocky Mount’s median income.
Developers say one-bedroom units will rent for as low as $500 a month, with two-bedroom units going for $565 monthly.
“So it’s a 100% affordable housing development,” Blackburne said.
As of early June there were 68 completed apartments in all of downtown Rocky Mount.
The Five Points project would nearly double that total, part of Rocky Mount’s efforts to have 500 downtown apartments by 2026.
“Two of our top priorities for Rocky Mount include downtown redevelopment and affordable housing,” Rocky Mount Mayor Pro Tem TJ Walker said. “In Five Points Crossing, this development will help address both of those needs.”
City leaders called the project a milestone in revitalizing downtown Rocky Mount.
With rents skyrocketing in nearby cities like Raleigh, speakers at Thursday’s ceremony said they hoped Five Points could be the exception to the rule.
“It’s impossible for working people to live downtown there,” Rocky Mount City Council rep Andre Knight said. “But we want all of our city, especially downtown, to have working class people, children come here to play. Rocky Mount is for everyone.”