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Affordable housing in Cary: Apartment units to go up on major Cary road

Cary is working with a developer to build housing that will remain affordable to families for decades.

Posted Updated

Matt Talhelm
, WRAL reporter
CARY, N.C. — Cary is working with a developer to build housing that will remain affordable to families for decades.
The apartment complex will be built along southeast Maynard Road, between East Cary Middle School and the Cary Village Square Shopping Center – within walking distance of Cary High School and the new Fenton development.

The Town of Cary bought this land 15 years ago to build a water tower; however, the plan was scrapped, leaving nothing but a wooded area on the land.

This is the first time the town is taking land it owns to build affordable housing.

The tree-covered property will become a new mixed-income development with 126 apartments. The complex will include:

  • 64 affordable apartments based on the area median income (AMI)
  • 25 will be rented to people making 80% of the AMI (that means a family of four could earn up to $85,600)
  • 26 will be rented to tenants at 50% of the AMI (that's a family of four earning $53,500 or less)
  • The remaining affordable apartments will go to families who qualify for subsidized housing
"We wanted this development to look like the rest of Cary. We wanted folks at all different income ranges to live together," said Morgan Mansa, Cary housing manager.

The town will lease the land to a developer with the agreement that these apartments remain affordable for 30 years.

"It’s a way that Cary is leading by example. We are building affordable housing on town-owned property really in the heart of Cary," said Mansa.

Cost of living rising in Cary -- and much of the Triangle

"It’s getting harder and harder to be able to afford to live here," said Reverend Wesley Spears-Newsome, associate pastor of Greenwood Forest Baptist Church.
That hardship is something Spears-Newsome hears from families at his church.

"There are people that make our town work that are absolutely essential – teachers, fire fighters, first responders – and they need to be able to afford to live here. And right now, they can’t," he said.

His congregation has been pushing for more affordable housing in town since 2017.

"We wanted to use that power to get people in houses, and that’s what’s happening," he said.

Spears-Newsome says this development is a good start to addressing the town's need for affordable housing.

"When you say 64 units, you're also saying 64 families," he said. "If you don’t do it, we’re going to lose people. And nobody deserves to lose their homes."

The affordable apartments are going up on the same road as his church. Construction is expected to start in 2024, with the goal to open these apartments in 2026.

Since Cary will still own this land, the town can renegotiate with the developer after 30 years to extend the affordable housing agreement.

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