The James and Lizzie Whitfield house at 1004 Washington Street is in a bad way and apparently is set to be demolished using American Rescue Plan Act funds. Eligible uses of such funds for vacant or abandoned properties include rehab costs, acquisition and marketing costs, environmental remediation costs, demolition, and converting such properties to affordable housing.
Guidelines for the funds warn that demolition is not to be undertaken where it would create a “net reduction in occupiable housing units for low- and moderate-income individuals” in areas in which the need for such housing exceeds available supply. (It’s hard to imagine that demolition of this house won’t have just such a result, but it is also clear from a peak through that gap by the porch pillar that it is in deplorable condition.) Nor should low-income housing be converted to housing units “unaffordable to current residents in the community.” (Such as the $250,000 renovation two blocks away on Atlantic Street.)
There’s some irony here. James A. Whitfield was the first African-American member, and later chair, of the Wilson Housing Authority. The Whitfield Homes housing project is named for him.
Wilson Daily Times, 24 November 1960.
Photos by Lisa Y. Henderson, September 2022.