FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Rev. Dr. Timothy Conder, Durham CAN Strategy Team
919-949-0304 | [email protected]
Bishop Clarence Laney, Jr., Durham CAN Clergy Caucus
Monument of Faith Church
919-414-1965 | [email protected]
A Call For Awareness, Agitation and Action:
Durham CAN To Hold Silent Vigil Walk Around Fayette Place Site
DURHAM, North Carolina, OCTOBER 8, 2020 -- On Wednesday, October 14th, Durham Congregations, Associations and Neighborhoods will hold a silent vigil walk around the Grant Street-Merrick Street-East Umstead Street section of vacant, 20-acre site referred known as Fayette Place.
Until 2007, the Durham Housing Authority (DHA) owned and operated 168, 2-story brick duplex homes on nearly 20 acres - the Fayetteville Street Apartments. In 2007, DHA sold the property to Campus Apartments, a Philadelphia developer that demolished the apartments, leaving the cement slab foundations.
In 2017, due to the organizing efforts of Durham CAN, the City of Durham gave DHA $4.2 million to repurchase the property with the goal of redevelopment that includes affordable housing. The restrictive covenants attached to the development grant require DHA to maintain the site in a good, sanitary and safe condition (including mowing the grass, removing weeds, trash and debris and repairing fencing) and creating and implementing a community engagement program to provide meaningful opportunities for the Durham community, including but not limited to the Hayti and NCCU communities, to contribute input in connection with the redevelopment of the Site and the surrounding area.
The $95 million Affordable Housing Bond passed by 13.6% of Durham voters in 2019 includes funding to DHA for a number of redevelopment projects in the first 5 years of its redevelopment plan (including a new DHA office), and did not include funding toward redevelopment of the former Fayetteville Street Apartments site. And as recently observed by many members of the community:
"The property looks worse than when the Philadelphia developers owned it."
We hope this walk will stoke both our moral memory and our moral imagination: memory of the legacy of promises made and broken time and time again to the same members of our community, symbolized by a relic of chronic disinvestment and neglect. And imagination for what could be, through our unified commitment to one another and the priorities we organize around and people we organize with.
Learn more about the Silent Vigil Walk and RSVP here.