Once-blighted South Bronx enclave now heralded as an example of affordable housing done right

November 09, 2009 04:01PM

President Jimmy Carter once called Charlotte Street in the South Bronx “the worst slum in America,” and residents during the 1970s wouldn’t have argued. But the street, once the site of daily fires set by junkies and landlords in search of insurance payments, has been transformed into a suburban refuge. In the 1980s, 92 deeply discounted homes — subsidized with money from the city — were built and sold off to Bronx buyers, and few have been willing to part with them since. The homes were sold for between $50,000 and $59,000 to buyers who were carefully selected and subjected to credit checks and homeownership counseling. They cost roughly $100,000 to build. Only one has gone into foreclosure since the most recent real estate crash, and property values have skyrocketed. The one home currently for sale on Charlotte Street (the owners of which are retiring to Florida) is listed for $459,000, CNN reported.