The Wilson Housing Authority will roll out the red carpet for national Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro, who will take a community tour here and be a part of a major announcement regarding a broadband initiative for public housing Tuesday.
“This is a very exciting event for the Wilson Housing Authority and the city of Wilson,” said Kelly Vick, WHA president and chief executive officer. “We are honored that we have been selected to show the secretary the innovative uses of our HUD funding in Wilson.”
While in Wilson, Castro will take a community tour highlighting various HUD investment sites in Wilson.
“We will share with him our newest and our oldest properties, our successes and our current challenges,” Vick said. “I am excited to share the partnerships that we have built with other local agencies to make Wilson a stronger community.”
The tour will begin at a rental assistance demonstration development for seniors, then he will stop at a community resource center funded by a HUD Choice Neighborhood Planning Grant, and the day will end at a community meeting where the city of Wilson and WHA will then make an announcement on a broadband initiative for local public housing residents announcement at the Freeman Roundhouse.
“I would encourage the community to come to the Freeman Roundhouse on Tuesday at 1:30 to welcome Secretary Castro to Wilson,” Vick said.
Wilson leaders Mayor Bruce Rose, City Manager Grant Goings and U.S. Rep. G.K. Butterfield will also be a part of the event.
“With nearly 50,000 residents, my hometown of Wilson is a growing metropolitan area and is an increasingly important hub in the eastern North Carolina region,” Butterfield said. “I look forward to welcoming Secretary Castro to Wilson where he will witness firsthand the positive impact Housing and Urban Development assistance has had on our community. Following Wilson Housing Authority’s recent recognition by HUD as a ‘high performer’ and the community’s strides in making broadband service accessible to low-income homes, I know Secretary Castro will be impressed by the work being done on the ground here in Wilson. I look forward to working with the secretary to find ways to bring additional HUD resources to the 1st Congressional District.”
Before becoming HUD’s secretary in 2014, Castro served as mayor of the city of San Antonio in Texas. While there, he became known as a national leader in urban development, officials said.
In July of 2015, President Barack Obama helped launch one of Castro’s signature projects, ConnectHome, which accelerates internet adoption in 28 communities, providing broadband and electronic devices to children living in public and assisted housing, according to HUD’s website.
Castro will be in Raleigh earlier Tuesday where he will take a tour of Raleigh’s Capitol Park neighborhood, a redevelopment community funded by HUD’s HOPE-VI program. He will also meet with residents.
• First stop will be at the Senior Apartment Building, at 820 Starmount Circle.
• Second stop will be at the Community Resource Center at 639 Walnut St. S.
• Last stop will be at Freeman Roundhouse at 1202 Hines St. SE, at 1:30 p.m. The public is invited and an announcement will be made.