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Kinston housing complex to undergo demolition

By Michael Hennessey
Published On: Oct 22 2013 05:56:01 PM CDT
KINSTON, LENOIR COUNTY -

A Kinston housing project is undergoing some major changes.

The Carver Court complex, a property of the Kinston Housing Authority, is scheduled to have 10 of its 28 apartment buildings demolished. Officials say the purpose of the project is to create additional parking, as well as widen roads. Administrators say first responders are having trouble accessing certain areas of the complex.

56 households were moved to other housing. Some were given other assisted housing spots while others were given vouchers for housing of their own choosing.

The idea behind the demolition is to make the area safer for remaining 122 residents. However, those residents are worried about one factor; The asbestos Housing Authority officials say is under the floors.

Authorities say the asbestos levels were tested and are not dangerous to the people living in the homes. "When you disturb the asbestos during demolition, there's just processes that you have to go through, to ensure that it's done safely," said Kinston Housing Authority Executive Director Rhonda Abbott.

Abbott says the Housing Authority has enlisted the help of Health and Human Services to ensure nobody in the complex is exposed.

Residents aren't so confident. "If it's in the floors then it's in the buildings, it's not healthy either way," said Lea Goldsmith. "They'll put dumpsters outside, and they'll put the stuff outside in dumpsters, and the kids will climb on the dumpsters and climb on the equipment like they did last time. Like they do any time there's a maintenance project out here."

Justin Campbell has lived in the complex for years. He is also worried about the children in the complex. "I just don't want that stuff to come in and they breath it in, or they get it on 'em or whatever," he said about his children.

Abbott says the best way to avoid danger during the demolition is to "abide by the signs, and the fences, and try not to go inside the construction area."

Abbott says the cost of the project is $328,328 dollars. It is expected all of the cost will be covered by a federal grant.

Groundbreaking is scheduled for November 13th. Officials say the project should be completed around February 10th.