ROANOKE (WSLS 10) - Through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the city of Roanoke will spend more than $5 million on revitalizing the West End neighborhood.
For nearly two decades, the city has invested HUD money on specific neighborhoods. Over the last four years, $3.86 million has gone toward the West End for affordable housing, home renovations and community improvements. Another $1.3 million will be spent this year to spruce up 13th Street.
"The transformation of this neighborhood has been absolutely phenomenal over the last four or five years," said West End Center Executive Director Joy Parrish, which which helps children in the neighborhood. "It's just been such a pleasure to watch as the renovations and improvements have unfolded. It has absolutely transformed the character and the fabric of the neighborhood."
The federal dollars have also led to more private investments, like Freedom First Credit Union opening a branch on Patterson Avenue. Roanoke HUD Division Manager Keith Holland said more people are beginning to buy and build homes in the area.
"We're really starting to see the impact of our seed we planted with our HUD dollars coming to fruition in West End," Holland said.
It's a neighborhood Parrish believes turned a corner and is now looking at a bright future.
"It turned out every bit as wonderful as I hoped it would and much more is still to come," she said.
Next up, the city will invest HUD dollars in the Melrose/Orange Avenue area.