The Dora Highway Neighborhood is an older working-class neighborhood in the Town of Pulaski. The neighborhood provided housing for the workers that supported the once thriving iron industries that operated in town. The Town’s population has significantly declined, as has the population’s median household income, and the Dora Highway Neighborhood was severely impacted. Topographically, the neighborhood is characterized by extreme slopes with an average slope of 40%. The houses exhibited a wide range of deficiencies; the streets were poorly constructed due to the topography; waterlines were undersized; and a large number of abandoned structures were a blighting influence.
A neighborhood study, funded under a 2008 CDBG Planning Grant, assisted the Town in identifying specific community development and housing needs in the neighborhood. The proposed improvement plan focused on the rehabilitation of houses in conjunction with water and street improvements. Abandoned properties were targeted for acquisition and demolition for the construction of new infill housing for home ownership in order to help preserve the neighborhood.
Implementation of the plan was completed with a 2009 CDBG construction grant of $1.4 million and a total project budget of $2.2 million including Town funds and partnerships with the New River Valley HOME Consortium and Community Housing Partners. Seventeen (17) homes were rehabilitated or substantially reconstructed and six (6) new homes were constructed and sold to new home owners.