U.S. Representative Richard Hudson and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Dr. Ben Carson visited Kannapolis today and hosted a roundtable of city and community leaders. Topics discussed included affordable housing, Opportunity Zones and COVID-19 relief efforts.
“We were able to personally show Secretary Carson and Congressman Hudson the work we have done in our Opportunity Zone which is the West Avenue Streetscape, the Atrium Health Ballpark and the mixed-use development, VIDA, which is under construction,” commented Kannapolis Mayor Darrell Hinnant.
Downtown Kannapolis is one of the first designated Opportunity Zones in the United States. This is a federal designation that provides tax credits to private investors who invest in properties and urban areas which need to be revitalized. The Opportunity Zone designation has spurred the redevelopment and purchase of downtown properties by developers.
City leaders also discussed the need for more aid to redevelop other areas in Kannapolis which could spur continued private investment.
Affordable housing was also a priority topic during the roundtable. Leadership from the Cities of Kannapolis and Concord, Habitat for Humanity, Cooperative Christian Ministry, Hope Haven, and Opportunity House were able to brief Dr. Carson and Rep. Hudson on the work that has been done to encourage affordable housing in the county. Projects highlighted included the newly opened Prosperity Ridge Apartments for seniors, Habitat for Humanity’s “Tiny Houses” in the Carver neighborhood – all in Kannapolis; infrastructure improvements and Habitat for Humanity houses in Concord.
“While we have made progress to add affordable housing in our City, we do have a great need for more housing for seniors, young adults transitioning out of foster care, people with disabilities and others. As a county we are working to secure additional federal dollars for more projects to help our residents,” commented Hinnant during the session.
Both Dr. Carson and Rep. Hudson addressed the issue of needing additional funding by acknowledging there is still work to be done and that both are working to ensure grants and other HUD funds will be increased in the near future.
Following the roundtable Dr. Carson and Hudson concluded their day in the county by touring a Habitat for Humanity community in Concord.