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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Tawana Belinda Wilson-Allen, May 11, 2006. Interview U-0098. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Hope VI housing initiative offers ray of hope to lower income residents

Charlotte's moderation had long masked the poverty within the city, but the Hope VI initiative rips the veil dividing the city's poor and wealthier residents. Hope VI is to benefit low-income families in finding affordable housing within mixed income communities. With a decrease in funding, Wilson-Allen believes that Hope VI will merely prove a temporary fix.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Tawana Belinda Wilson-Allen, May 11, 2006. Interview U-0098. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

ELIZABETH GRITTER:
Um, something that I wondered about here too was you say how Charlotte, I think it was in here. Yeah, has the sort of polite moderate image but still has a lot to learn. If you could kind of comment some more on that, how you see it still as problematic.
TAWANA BELINDA WILSON-ALLEN:
Well, I mentioned that during the civil rights movement it was like that. We weren't as forthright with our protesting I think as some of the other areas were. People were arrested, but not, I mean in all terms I think that people who come to visit Charlotte, they ask where are the slums? Where are the slums? And they're all around us. We've done a lot toHOPE 6 programs which comes fromvery instrumental in helping to sort of make people from various economic backgrounds so that they're it's an incentive kind of thing. Over here, First Ward is a prime example. So you have people from all the different backgrounds in one area, and what happened with HOPE 6 was that each of these public housing projects were torn down. But unlike in the '70s where it was just torn down and places were torn down and they didn't have any place to go.
ELIZABETH GRITTER:
It was like urban renewal.
TAWANA BELINDA WILSON-ALLEN:
Urban renewal. We had that problem with First Ward years ago. People were scattered out in adjoining neighborhoods, and some not really having any place to go at all. So when HOPE 6 came along, the idea was to get rid of substandard housing, but when you rebuild, you don't gentrify and put all medium and upper income people in the place of. So what Congressman Watt was trying to do is one to one replacement for the people who lived there before--to be able to live there again along with others of higher income. That would in turn help to improve the quality of everyone's life.
ELIZABETH GRITTER:
This was in the '90s.
TAWANA BELINDA WILSON-ALLEN:
Up to now.
ELIZABETH GRITTER:
Up to now.
TAWANA BELINDA WILSON-ALLEN:
They just finished the one over off of .
ELIZABETH GRITTER:
Had that been a successful effort?
TAWANA BELINDA WILSON-ALLEN:
It had been in Charlotte but not everywhere. Now the funds are being cut back. So a lot of cities are scrambling and scrounging for, to get on the list for whatever. HOPE 6 project is not going to last.