Carver Area residents celebrate revitalization of neighborhood

Vicky Broadway lives in an apartment in Salisbury with a deteriorating ceiling and mold that formed after a major water leak in the apartment above hers. But she won't be there for long.

Broadway, 54, is scheduled to close in September on a new four-bedroom, two-bathroom house on Lowe Avenue in Kannapolis, thanks to a multi-agency effort to revitalize the city's Carver Area near A.L. Brown High School and Kannapolis Intermediate School.

On Aug. 4, city officials joined U.S. Rep. Larry Kissell, D-N.C., and representatives of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, along with Habitat for Humanity Cabarrus County, the Cooperative Christian Ministry and Prosperity Unlimited Inc. to celebrate the neighborhood's ongoing transformation.

The years-long effort has included affordable new and rehabbed homes, such as the new $100,000 house that Broadway will move into soon, and the recently completed extension of Wood Avenue through the community to Dale Earnhardt Boulevard.

"We want everybody to know we are very happy with what we see," Joyce Gibson, president of the Carver Area Historic Preservation Association, told the gathering.

Broadway, who suffers from asthma and is on disability, opened her home to tours that day. She's able to own a home thanks to Prosperity Unlimited, she said. The local nonprofit community development agency provides credit and down payment help, homebuyer and financial literacy courses and other assistance to people with lower incomes who want to own a home.

The agency helped Broadway obtain government financial help, reducing her final loan amount to $55,900. Assistance included a $20,000, 30-year loan through the N.C. Housing Finance Agency, deferred at zero percent interest, and a $20,100 grant through the city and HUD.

Prosperity Unlimited has built or rehabbed eight homes in the Carver Area and nearly 40 in all, including in the Bethel community.

Broadway said her home is everything she dreamed of, right down to the black kitchen appliances.

A year ago, Broadway was among 10 women and men at Cornerstone church in Salisbury who stood up when a visiting pastor asked who wanted to own a home someday. Broadway was already in classes sponsored by Prosperity Unlimited.

But she didn't have only herself in mind, she said: She hopes the home remains in her family for generations to come.

Children plant garden at Frank Liske Park

Children in Discovery Day Camp's garden club raised okra, tomatoes, squash, green beans, basil and popcorn in a 16-by-16-foot garden they created at Frank Liske Park this summer.

Most of the food was donated to Cooperative Christian Ministry's food bank, Cabarrus County spokeswoman Aimee Hawkins said. The county sponsors the camp, which ended for the summer on Friday.

The garden could become a community garden in the future, Hawkins said. Meanwhile, it will serve throughout fall as a learning lab for some of Cabarrus County Parks' ongoing nature and wildlife classes, she said.