HUD Sec. Ben Carson, Sen. Tim Scott tour Spartanburg

HUD Secretary Ben Carson and South Carolina Senator Tim Scott tour Spartanburg
HUD Secretary Ben Carson and South Carolina Senator Tim Scott tour Spartanburg

SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – Two big names made a stop in the Upstate today.

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson and South Carolina Senator Tim Scott toured new developments on the Northside of Spartanburg today.

The Choice Neighborhood Development is just one of the many new projects in the works.

The Northside Initiative Project includes mixed-income housing, a market, a farmers market, and even job training.

That local effort, connected with federal dollars, is exactly what Dr. Carson highlighted in his speech.

Over the past few years, Sandra Austin says her neighborhood has changed.

“When I first moved over here 6 years ago, it was a lot of boarded-up houses and a lot of crime,” Austin said.

While the dirt moves on new projects on the north side of Spartanburg, the high crime and boarded houses are giving way to new developments and change.

“A neighborhood that you seen going down is now brought back up to standard,” Austin said.

HUD Secretary Ben Carson came to town with South Carolina Senator Tim Scott to see the new construction.

“Section 3 of the housing code says that if a development is receiving HUD funding, then they have an obligation to hire and train and give contracts to the low-income people in the area,” Carson said.

Local organizations and even churches are stepping up to do their part.

“We have a very professional congregation from social work to substance abuse treatment, medical jobs employment, we want to work with the community, with the Northside Initiative, to improve the services they’re already providing.”

The latest Northside improvements include the Butterfly Creek development, a new school, and even 14 units of mixed-income housing.

There’s even a culinary job training program that employs newly-skilled workers.

“We’ve continued to offer the culinary job training program for those who are unemployed, underemployed, previously incarcerated, or homeless in this community.” Liberty Canzater of the Butterfly Foundation said. “We’ve been able to help about 160 individuals.”

It’s the perfect combination of new developments, bridging the gap between old lifestyles and new futures.

Secretary Carson and Senator Scott also toured Drayton Mills Lofts and Meeting Street Academy, which is a public private school serving under-resourced children.

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