Single mother in Raleigh searching for home amid housing crisis

Josh Chapin Image
Friday, March 3, 2023
Single mother in Raleigh searching for home amid housing crisis
"I'm going to get through this"

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Christal Stafford thought she was moving down to Raleigh for a brand new house, but she said she and her husband fell for a scam.

They then depleted their savings on hotel rooms and other things for their four children.

"In the midst of it all, I lost my sister in one day, five days later I lost my husband," she said.

Now she's living wherever she can and doing what she can to survive.

"Everybody in these types of situations is not in these situations because they don't want to pay the bills or whatever it may be," she said. "We came down here with money."

Stafford is in the middle of the rising affordable housing crisis. She's relying on community advocates like Diana Powell for help.

Diana who is the executive director of Justice Served has more than 200 folders with stories of those like Christal's.

"These are all stories, everyone of them has been displaced or on the verge of being displaced," said Powell. "These stories come through the door every day."

The city has a goal of 5,700 new affordable apartments by 2026. Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin said they are on target to complete that.

There are eight projects in the works now that will create more than 500 units of affordable housing. One of them is an100 unit project off Sunnybrook Road which broke ground last year.

There's another one on Peach Road that's expected to open in 2025.

"It's about being thoughtful, treating things with urgency, it's about doing all you can to help move things forward and that's what we have been doing," said Baldwin.

She said the $80 million bond voters passed in 2020 is being used to fund projects all over, but she insists it's not an overnight process and she's concerned about the markets shifting as much as they have.

"It's hard to get loans so all of the developments that we have approved are coming back to us because their costs have escalated, loans have escalated," Baldwin said.

Stafford cut her hours working at McDonald's to help take care of her kids, but she's optimistic even as she looks for something she can afford.

"I'm going to get through this," she said. "I'm going to get through this. I'm not weak. I feel like I'm unbreakable."