We are excited to see the aggressive effort coming out of the Roxboro Housing Authority. Over the past year or so, the RHA leadership has worked to make their communities safer and more pleasing places to live. There is a stronger relationship with the Roxboro Police Department than there has been in a long time and new rules have been implemented to keep the communities safe.
But the most recent effort is unlike any we’ve ever seen.
The Housing Authority is positioning itself as a force for the development of more affordable housing. That could mean more apartment complexes. It could mean larger apartment complexes. But most exciting, it could also mean that RHA buys up some distressed properties, renovates them and turns them in livable spaces for those who need housing, but can’t afford, say, a Crestwood Drive address.
RHA’s potential entry into that market is important because, frankly, it’s a market that most private enterprises don’t want to get into because of the smaller profit margins. Most developers and builders would rather build a 2,500-square-foot home on a quarter acre and generate large margins than to build rental properties that won’t be as lucrative.
Fair enough. In a capitalistic society we believe private enterprise will meet the demands of its customer base so long as it can be done at a profit.
Where the free market doesn’t meet the needs of the population is where government should rightfully step in and meet the need.
Though it remains to be seen exactly what tack the new organization, called the Roxboro Community Redevelopment Corporation, will take in its efforts to provide more affordable housing, one certainly can hope that as the city works to eliminate blighted housing throughout the city that there will be an opportunity to achieve the goals of both groups if the city and RCRC can find ways to work together.
The improvements at the Roxboro Housing Authority in the past couple years – from an agency racked by a negative audit to one that is looking to expand its services to the community – is a turnaround worth noting.
We hope the RCRC will succeed and find support from agencies like Housing and Urban Development and local governments like Person County and the City of Roxboro to make certain that the demands of that market are met in a sustainable way.