The Village at Washington Terrace is a DHIC affordable housing community, funded in part by the National Affordable Housing Trust, Wells Fargo, NC Housing Finance Agency, and the City of Raleigh, and managed by Community Management Corporation (CMC). DHIC supports individuals, families, and seniors by providing homes and opportunities that promote the financial, physical, and mental well-being of people and communities.
Since 1974, DHIC has demonstrated the importance of connecting people with safe, affordable, and desirable homes in the Triangle region of North Carolina. DHIC provides homebuyer support and develops rental communities for families and individuals with limited incomes. DHIC understands that a home is a catalyst for opportunity, independence, and resilience.
1. Development of a “pocket park”
• The Kaleidoscope Project
The primary goal of the partnership with The Kaleidoscope Project and DHIC is to nurture children’s mental, social, and emotional health, by:
• Creating outdoor space for children and families to gather and enjoy nature
• Increasing the sense of belonging to a community that is home for young children
Washington Terrace’s initial plan included a concrete pavilion with a few picnic tables and a grill. Partnering with The Kaleidoscope Project, they began re-thinking other options in less likely places, such as in between the buildings or other areas where people may congregate naturally. DHIC settled on a new plan for a “pocket park” between two of the apartment buildings where families, children, and adults could enjoy time outside. A local artist captured the history of Washington Terrace through art throughout the space.
DHIC was motivated to go beyond the basics of developing affordable housing because of the many additional ways that creating a home in a caring community can help families and children become healthier and more resilient. The new relaxing outdoor space combines nature, art, and natural play. It features a mix of pathways, resting areas, local artwork, boulders for sitting/climbing, and plant life. It provides a place for families with children to spend time together, building relationships in a natural outdoor setting.
This project had a significant impact on DHIC’s planning and design processes going forward. Because of their interactions with Kaleidoscope, moving forward, DHIC program staff will now be at the planning/development table to ensure that children are thought of from the very beginning of the design process. This will allow for the creation of more intentional spaces within their communities that embody Kaleidoscope
Build Positive Relationships
The pocket park was designed with an open concept to ensure a clear line of sight for all residents using the space. Benches were also added to create seating for residents. The benches provide opportunities for relationship building.
Use Nature to Nurture
Boulders were installed for multipurpose use. Children can climb, sit, and use them for play. Plants were planted to create a more natural setting and provide children opportunities to explore. Butterfly homes were added to the area to attract more butterflies to the space.
Create Diverse Spaces and Activities
A local artist was hired to add art throughout the pocket park and the property. Artwork will be added to the concrete pathway, butterfly houses, and more.
Foster Safety and Support
Cameras were installed to ensure the safety of the residents using the space.
Enhance Accessibility and Inclusion
Wide concrete paths were installed so that residents with mobility devices can access the space. Space was left open next to the benches in the seating area to allow space for wheeled mobility devices such as wheelchairs and strollers.