Local Politics

Wake County expands plans to address affordable housing crisis

Posted November 15, 2021 4:26 a.m. EST
Updated November 15, 2021 7:43 p.m. EST

— As home prices and the cost of rent in Wake County continue to skyrocket, local leaders are looking at new ways to provide affordable alternatives.

The Wake County Board of Commissioners will meet at 2 p.m. Monday to sign off on the creation of a 16-member Affordable Housing Advisory Committee, which would be a mix of both housing experts and community members designated to identify ways to expand housing options for the less wealthy.

Currently, around 41% percent of renters in Wake County put 30% or more of their budget into housing, according to the North Carolina Housing Coalition, but 30% is the maximum amount people are advised to put toward a rent or mortgage payment.

Data released in October by Triangle Multiple Listing Service (TMLS) shows that in Wake County, the average sale price of a property listed on the open market was 105.1% of its list price. In Durham, that mark for the average home was 104.7%.

The median sale price of property sold in Wake County and in Durham County also hit an annual high, the data showed.

The median sale price in Durham County rose from $352,000 in August and surpassed the year’s prior mark of $355,000 in July, all the way to $369,400. In Wake County, the median sale price rose from $400,000 in August to $410,000 in September, surpassing the the year’s prior high mark of $407,319 median sale price that was recorded in July.

Wake municipalities are already making plans to or currently building affordable housing, but with soaring land prices and labor shortages to inflated prices for materials and rising interest rates, the cost to build housing at below-market rates is steadily climbing.

Nonprofit developer DHIC Inc. has five projects underway in Raleigh, Durham, Apex and Holly Springs that will add a total of 627 apartments to the area's affordable housing inventory but is facing a $1.5 million shortfall on the $35 million Apex project.

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