A controversial plan to sell a large-scale public housing building in Winston-Salem has fallen through.

The plan to sell Crystal Towers was never a popular one. Some city leaders and housing advocates blasted the idea.

Deborah Watkins has lived in the downtown complex for nine years. She joined a group called Crystal Towers United to help fight the plan. She says she feels her voice has been heard.

“This is our home, you know? It's close to the bus station and it's easy to get around town, you know what I'm saying?" she says. "And I'm happy for the people that live here too, because they didn't want to move.”

Officials with the Housing Authority of Winston-Salem (HAWS) say selling the downtown building was the right plan at the time, but market conditions have changed. 

The new plan is to work with the city to keep it as an affordable housing option.

HAWS officials say the move to keep the complex was aided by federal assistance. The city received $30 million in Choice Neighborhoods funding from the Department of Housing and Urban Development in 2020.

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