Local News

Affordable housing can't keep pace with demand in Wake

Posted June 27
Updated June 28

— Another Raleigh apartment complex is kicking out tenants who have their rent subsidized.

Nearly 60 elderly residents of the Wintershaven complex said Tuesday they have received notice that the apartments at 500 E. Hargett St. have been sold and that the new owner will no longer offer affordable housing.

"It hit us like I don’t know what. It just really shocked us," 77-year-old resident Virginia Miles said.

The residents must move out by August 2018.

"I don’t know where I’m going. I’m just putting out applications," Delores Holloway said. "None of us know where we’re going."

"Some of them got a one-year waiting list, some a five- or six-year waiting list. I mean, it’s a mess," Raymond Bullock said.

Recently, residents of the Sir Walter Apartments on Fayetteville Street in downtown Raleigh also were told to leave because the building was being sold. Likewise, hundreds of families were pushed out when the Forest Hills Apartments complex in Garner was sold.

Raleigh has about 32,000 affordable housing units, and despite the conversion of Wintershaven and some other complexes to market-rate housing, the number of affordable units citywide is projected to grow by about 5,700 over the next decade.

Still, Larry Jarvis, Raleigh's director of housing and neighborhoods, said that won’t come close to meeting the need.

"One of the things we are trying to do to address those concerns is to make sure we are putting affordable housing projects back on the ground near downtown neighborhoods," Jarvis said.

The Washington Terrace complex on Booker Drive, near St. Augustine's University, for example, will be razed and rebuilt, with many of the 162 affordable units earmarked for elderly residents. But the new units won't be ready for at least two years, so they aren't an option for the Wintershaven residents.

"I've called several places, but they’re not taking applications right now," Miles said. "So, I’m just up a loop like everybody else. We don’t know what to do."

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