The City Council is due to contemplate committing about $17 million for rebuilding the twice-failed Rolling Hills — a.k.a. "Southside East" — at its work session Thursday, but it hasn't forgotten the neighborhood's other part.
"Southside West" – or Southside proper, the neighborhood of that name – is subject of a progress report at Thursday's work session, including some cost estimates for home-building there.
The Southside neighborhood covers about 100 acres, south of the Durham Freeway between South Roxboro Street and the American Tobacco Trail. Its revitalization has been paired with redeveloping the adjacent Rolling Hills tract in the city's plan, though to date Rolling Hills has received the greater part of the city's attention and money.
Besides connecting Southside residents with social services such as job training, the neighborhood is due for city-backed housing rehabilitation – one house done, two under way, bids in for two more, according to the report – and building new homes for sale to owner occupants on 45 lots owned by the nonprofit Self Help.
The report estimates site preparation for the first 35 lots at $1.4 million, the city to cover with anticipated federal grant money or a dedicated rise in the property tax; it also recommends $4.4 million in aid for low-income home buyers, to be paid from the same sources.
Southside and Rolling Hills constitute Census Tract 23 in Durham, and according to the 2010 census there are 1,331 residents and 481 residential units, 59 of which were occupied by their owners. The neighborhood has a history of high poverty, unemployment and crime.
Links to sections of the update are below. For the latest on Southside East (a.k.a. Rolling Hills), see Wednesday's Durham News.