Affordable housing on the table in Durham

Josh Chapin Image
Wednesday, July 18, 2018

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- Affordable housing is something a number of people in Durham think is a growing problem -- especially as the city has gone through a renaissance in recent years.

On Tuesday, dozens offered the county feedback on two redevelopment plans they're looking at for open lots in the 300 and 500 blocks of East Main Street.

"What we're showing the public are the two leading plans the commissioners are comfortable with," said Sarah Odio, project manager for the Development Finance Initiative at the UNC School of Government. "It will be a combination of either plan--both plans include a component of affordable housing so that's going to be critical to any development. They also include market-rate development."

After Odio presented, the 50 or so people in attendance at the Durham Human Services Facility broke into smaller groups.

"We have good proposals to look at and I'm encouraged that one of the proposals makes a very strong commitment to affordable housing," said Jim Svara, a Durham resident. "There needs to be an inclusive downtown that will provide opportunities for people at all income levels and interests to live and this is a major contribution."

Project managers said the county hopes to have a developer who's committed to affordable housing at the table by early next year -- each plan also has a commercial development aspect to them.

There are two additional feedback sessions on the East Main Street Redevelopment Project.