Since its launch in March 2015, the Northside Neighborhood Initiative has worked to improve affordable housing options in the neighborhood, among other objectives.
The accomplishments of the initiative's first year were celebrated Thursday morning at Hargraves Recreational Center. The celebration was hosted by the Jackson Center, Self-Help Credit Union and Orange County Habitat for Humanity, partners of the initiative.
The celebration included a parade and wall-raising at a new Habitat for Humanity site on Craig Street. Last year, the initiative received a $3 million no-interest loan from UNC-Chapel Hill and is using a landbanking strategy to bring affordable housing to the Northside community.
Hudson Vaughan, senior director at the Jackson Center, said the event was a celebration to honor Northside neighbors who have made the community a special place.
"Our hope for this event was to both showcase a lot of the work that has been going on, that’s been made possible by the legacy of generations of folks who’ve made this community special — but also to preserve the future of Northside," he said.
The hosts set up interactive showcases for the Jackson Center, the Promise of Home Fund, Affordable Housing Partners, Landbanking Strategy and Keeping Your House a Home Program. The showcases allowed the community to learn more about their efforts.
Alex Mitchell and Matt Coleman, co-chairpeople for UNC Habitat for Humanity, said they are excited to work on a Habitat project within the Chapel Hill community.
“We’re helping to bring the communities together," Mitchell said. "The university and the town are kind of inextricably intertwined especially now we’re celebrating the history of Northside. There’s been such a long history over a hundred years — we’re honoring that.”
The Saint Joseph C.M.E. choir performed a soul song, "Freedom" by Eddie James.