Wake County leaders announce affordable housing fund

WTVD logo
Wednesday, October 26, 2022
Wake County leaders announce affordable housing fund
EMBED <>More Videos

Leaders announced a multimillion dollar fund on Wednesday morning to keep affordable housing in Wake County.

WAKE COUNTY, N.C. (WTVD) -- Raleigh city leaders announced a multimillion dollar fund to keep affordable housing in Wake County and Raleigh.

The City announced that the money is going to be pumped into a program to help people that are considered "the missing middle." These are people who fall in-between low-income and upper middle class.

High home costs and rental costs are taking a toll on so many people and county leaders are trying to tackle the high market by preserving affordable housing in the county and city.

The fund was first announced in October 2021, with the board of commissioners approving a $10.5 million loan and multi-year contract with self-help ventures fund. The City of Raleigh joined on, committing $4 million more toward preserving units within its city limits.

Raleigh's housing report shows rent shot up by 21% over a 7 year period, that's higher than the national average.

Renting, in general, is at the highest level in half a century, according to a new survey, with 43.7 million households nationwide currently being leased.

Rent Cafe did an analysis looking into where renters have become the majority in the last decade and one Raleigh zip code is ranking fifth in the country.

The 27617 area code which covers Brier Creek and the area wrapping around RDU airport.

The analysis found that more than 50 percent of residents are now renters and that has shot up almost 75 percent from 10 years ago.

Resident Ryan Bristow and his girlfriend live in high-rise rental in the heart of Downtown Raleigh. They're paying more than $2,500 for a two bedroom. They're making it work, but Bristow says it's not exactly fun writing that check every month.

"I personally would like to spend a lot less," said Bristow.

The City is going to developing new units at 13 sites scattered around Downtown Raleigh and focus is being placed on building density units, such as duplexes or triplexes.

Raleigh is using funds from the 2020 Affordable Housing Bond to bring these options to the table.

One Raleigh resident, who identifies himself as Universal He, says he's struggling to pay the rising prices around downtown.

"Right now, we're just in that space where there's extreme highs or extreme lows. You either have it or you don't. We need that (program)," he said. "Some of us (are) in the middle. We don't look like we're in the middle because of how hard things are."

The City is hoping its program helps in the fight for an affordable place to live. Roughly a third of the units will be set aside for people who earn less than 30 percent of area median income.

"Just to be able to live and work close to Downtown, I think is going to be a great opportunity to connect folks to opportunities like jobs and amenities," said Raleigh Multi-Lending Housing Coordinator Maria Dewees.

The units could potentially be ready for people to start moving in next winter.