Rocky Mount Initiative
Rocky Mount is an area with unique needs, strengths, and weaknesses. As with many rural, eastern cities in North Carolina the decline in textiles and tobacco took a toll on the local economy. Mills established in the 1800s closed at the end of the 20th century due to global competition. Heavily impacted by the flooding of Hurricane Floyd in 1999, and the lack of good paying jobs, Rocky Mount was noted in 2009 by Forbes as one of the top 10 most-impoverished cities. Recently, as it has begun to recover from several decades of de-industrialization, dis-investment, and population flight, it has started to look at addressing dilapidated surplus housing, blighted neighborhoods, and cost-burdened households.
Several recent studies have indicated the need for targeted investments in infrastructure, a focus on improving neighborhood amenities, projects aimed at reclaiming and rehabilitating aging properties, and identifying opportunities for strategic infill and new development. According to “The City of Rocky Mount & The Down East HOME Consortium FY 2015-2016 Annual Action Plan” the City has used HOME and CDBG funding for neighborhood revitalization activities, urgent repair, and blight abatement especially in the historic districts and center-city neighborhoods. The City also has documented conditions of homes and neighborhoods in City of Rocky Mount: Dept of Planning and Development “Crossroads to Prosperity Housing Report (APD Solutions)” and recommended Targeted Areas of Opportunity (TAOs) in City Center neighborhoods. The recently released (April 2018) multifamily housing market analysis by Novogradac & Company LLP found they need additional multifamily housing options especially in the affordable market as ‘all LIHTC properties maintain waiting lists.” Rocky Mount’s economic recovery requires more healthy, affordable, and accessible housing choices in vibrant and enjoyable neighborhoods. According to Cohen and Wardrip (2011), “affordable housing does more than improve the quality of life for local residents – it strengthens the local economy by creating jobs and fortifying a community’s tax base. Providing affordable housing also yields economic benefits to local employers by making it easier to attract and retain workers” (4).
Time series of all crime in Rocky Mount 2013-2017
Keep checking for new maps as we continue to gather data for this project!