Raleigh struggles with affordable-housing crunch

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Raleigh grapples with affordable housing problem.

Chrisandra Parks of Raleigh has three children and she's homeless.

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The 30-year-old is unable to find work and affordable housing. For the past month, she has been living in a motel.

Parks' struggle for stability is symbolic of Raleigh's affordable housing crunch.

"I can understand for someone that's not trying, but for someone who is really putting forth the work and there's no results? It's just really heartbreaking," she told ABC11. "Because the children are the ones that suffer the most."

Nearly 100 percent of the city's affordable rental units are full.

At Walnut Terrace apartments, the wait for a two- or three-bedroom home is five years.

The city said it is dedicating $60 million during 10 years toward affordable housing.

A penny property tax increase is geared toward the creation and redevelopment of affordable rental housing in the City of Oaks. City leaders are awarding tax credits to developers, and investing city funds into new housing projects.

Critics like Charles Francis, who is challenging Nancy McFarlane for mayor, call the city's strategy regressive.

But the city said the plan will ultimately triple the average number of affordable rentals.

In the works, city officials said, is a plan to redevelop 230 units at Raleigh North Milbank Court.

And then there's the city's investment and pending groundbreaking on redeveloping Washington Terrace near St. Augustine University. The 23-acre community will feature 162 units for affordable rental housing and additional housing for seniors.

It's housing like this that Parks needs right now.

But city officials admitted that access is challenging.

"Unfortunately, we have no immediate relief for her but over the over the long term, the way to solve that is by increasing the supply," said Larry Jarvis, director of housing and neighborhoods for the city of Raleigh.
Related Topics:
societyaffordable housinghousingraleigh newsapartmenthomelessRaleighWake County
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