Local Politics

Raleigh affordable housing bonds to benefit thousands of residents

Posted November 15, 2020 3:50 p.m. EST
Updated November 15, 2020 6:27 p.m. EST

— Revenue approved this month by Raleigh voters will help the city pay for more than 3,200 affordable residences over the next five years for people who have a hard time paying for a place to live.

Voters backed an $80 million bond referendum in the Nov. 3 election by a 72-28 percent margin, according to unofficial results.

People already experiencing homelessness have been hit especially hard during the pandemic.

"The locations that we had relied on, me and other members of the community, for food or hygiene products or even taking a shower and having a bed to stay shortened the services that they provided," Carmen Huyser said.

A social worker helped Huyser get placed at an Urban Ministries shelter in September.

"Staying in a tent wasn't for me anymore. So, they got me in contact with the Helen Wright Center," she said.

The center is one of many places that will benefit from the affordable housing bonds, will go to help people who can't afford to rent, buy or stay in their homes. City officials say the money would be spent in five areas:

  • Public-private partnerships for new developments
  • Buying land for future affordable housing
  • Rehabilitating homes
  • Gap financing given to nonprofits and developers to help cover the costs of building affordable housing
  • Money for first-time homebuyers

"This is the largest bond that Raleigh has ever passed around affordable housing, and it's a great first step," Urban Ministries of Wake County Executive Director Peter Morris said.

As local leaders move to create more resources, more people like Huyser will be able to afford quality housing.

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