Affordable Housing

A fire at an apartment complex in May 2018 was a wake-up call for Greensboro to address its affordable housing crisis.
David Ford / WFDD

This summer the city of Greensboro plans to sue the 10 landlords with the highest number of housing code violations. These companies have racked up hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines owed to the city.

an eviction notice on a front door
Steve Rhodes / Creative Commons/http://bit.ly/2HmJ9nV

North Carolina is a hotspot in the nation’s eviction crisis. As of 2016, the state’s rate of evictions and eviction filings were nearly double national rates. New reporting shines a light on the specific problems in Durham County, where gentrification is pushing out long-time residents and advocates say the city is in a time of crisis.

Wilson Sayre / WUNC

Willie May Mckellar has lived at Turner Park mobile home community for 22 years. Out in front of her home she points out water that has been standing in large potholes for days. She points to the tree in front of her home. The roots have grown up under the building and crumpled the skirting around the bottom of her single-wide trailer. She owns her home, but not the land underneath it. These are issues she think the new owners of the park should address because she pays rent for the land.

ananda bennett
Lynn Hey / WUNC

  Ananda Bennett’s story about how she became a quadriplegic still makes her laugh.

“I love this story so much,” she said.

It started as a normal day for the then 11-year-old. Her mom picked her and her brother up from school and they went to run errands. Then Bennett felt a sharp pain between her shoulder blades. By the time her mom returned to the car, it was a scene out of a movie.

Pee Wee Homes Help Address Chapel Hill Housing Crisis

Jan 28, 2019
Volunteers coming together to build three Pee Wee Homes on the lot of The Advocate in Chapel Hill.
Courtesy of Charles Rousseau

An Episcopal church in Chapel Hill is helping address the town's affordable housing crisis by working with officials to open three new homes on its property. The Church of the Advocate is working with Pee Wee Homes, a non-profit that builds small homes for needy residents. 

A boarded up apartment entrance as a makeshift memorial
David Ford / WFDD

A deadly apartment fire in Greensboro earlier this year highlighted some deep-seated community issues. The kitchen fire in the Summit-Cone apartment complex in May killed five young children, all siblings who were refugees from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Beauna Clarke lives in Greenfield Place in Chapel Hill
Jason deBruyn / WUNC

Beauna Clarke lives in Greenfield Place, a rent controlled complex in Chapel Hill. On one of the first crisp fall days of the year, she showed off the two-bedroom apartment.

"Okay, so you enter into the dining area, kitchen area," she said.

She described the amenities while the dishwasher hummed and dryer rumbled. A mountain bike stood beside her couch in the living room.

The Small family, Jennifer, Braeden, and Warren, in front of their house.
Ben McKeown / For WUNC

These days, Warren and Jennifer Small host family get-togethers at their house in south Raleigh.

They look forward to trick-or-treaters. Warren can fish in the pond just beyond their backyard. And they've learned a few bird calls with their young son, Braeden. He already recognizes some of his favorites.

Courtesy Jesse Hamilton McCoy II

Jesse Hamilton McCoy II was raised by a single mother in low-income neighborhoods in Vance and Durham Counties. Growing up in the late 1980s and 1990s, he witnessed the drug epidemic firsthand and remembers not being able to trust some adults in the community because of their addiction. 

View from the hilltop at Carver Pond Apartments on Meriwether Drive in Durham, North Carolina
Ildar Sagdejev

Housing advocates in the Cape Fear region are offering landlords an incentive to help end homelessness. Those who register to rent to a homeless tenant will be guaranteed up to $2,000 in case the tenant breaks the lease or damages the property.

Greensboro city skyline
Mark Goebel / Flickr, Creative Commons, https://flic.kr/p/4UYDyX

A petition is circulating to demand a thorough housing inspection of a low-income housing apartment building in Greensboro. Five children, who were Congolese refugees, died after a fire broke out Saturday.

Beth Benton co-manages Greensboro's Compliance division. She said there had been complaints against that apartment in the past, but it had been fixed and passed its last inspection in 2013.

photo of 6 people on the front steps of a house
Courtesy of Stephen Sills

The highest rent prices in the nation can be found in metropolitan areas like Manhattan or San Francisco. So why is it that Greensboro has some of the highest eviction rates in the country? Greensboro is ranked seventh on the list of the top evicting large cities in the U.S., according to Princeton University’s Eviction Lab. 

photo of the airbnb website, with pictures of rooms for rent
www.airbnb.com/a/Asheville

The Asheville City Council voted to severely restrict tourist rentals in Asheville earlier this year. The new rules state that rentals that had city permits before the vote can stay in business.

Jessica Lussenhop / BBC News

A new investigation by the BBC has uncovered scores of cases where women allegedly endured sexual harassment or may have been forced to do sexual favors to avoid eviction or secure housing.

JAMES WILLAMORE / FLICKR

Like any good architect, North Carolina State professor Tom Barrie knows how to build houses. But perhaps more importantly, he knows why we build them.

Courtesy of CASA

The Triangle-based affordable housing nonprofit CASA is proposing to build a new 24-apartment complex reserved specifically for Durham Public School teachers. CASA has submitted its proposal to the State Employees Credit Union for financing.

Line of women stand in graduation gowns.
Naomi Prioleau / WUNC

Nearly 20 percent of residents in Greensboro live in poverty, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. A new series by WUNC reporter Naomi Prioleau examines the specific barriers these individuals face as they try to change their economic future.

Durham, Affordable Housing, Housing for New Hope
Leoneda Inge / WUNC

It is not as easy to find a place to live in the city of Durham as it used to be just a few years ago. The “Bull City” has made its share of “best places to live” lists, thanks to population growth, a booming economy and a transformed downtown.

The popular Skyhouse Apartments in Raleigh while still under construction.
James Willamor / Flickr

Apartment demand in Raleigh will grow at one of the fastest rates in the country, according to a new housing report.

In fact, the research estimates that apartment units will increase by 69 percent in the greater Raleigh area by 2030.

Housing
Leoneda Inge / WUNC

A new report ranks Raleigh 22nd among 50 U.S. cities in terms of housing affordability for teachers. Charlotte ranked 30th. The analysis compared average rent in each city to local teacher salaries.

Durham CAN, Durham, Jerome Washington, Fayette Place
Leoneda Inge / WUNC

A couple hundred people gathered in a historic African American Durham neighborhood Wednesday to bring attention to one of the last, undeveloped plots of land near downtown.

Amy Thompson lives in teacher housing for Hertford County Schools.
Jess Clark

Amy Thompson lives in a seemingly typical two-bedroom apartment.

There's wall-to wall carpet, neutral walls, a comfy looking couch set, and a dining room table arranged with bright autumn leaves.

In many cities, the crumbling housing projects that once housed the nation's poorest families are being replaced by mixed- income housing developments.

The US Department of Housing and Urban Development has made mixed-income housing the preferred model for providing affordable housing. The concept is to deconcentrate individuals who earn lower incomes and to assist those families in maintaining a residence in a community that serves various income levels. A recent study examines the effects of low-income children living alongside more affluent neighbors.

An artist's rendering of a light rail stop.
GoTriangle / Triangle Transit

Durham County and City officials will get updates about opportunities to improve affordable housing along the planned light rail line that will run into Orange County.

"What we've seen around the country is that, as these light rail systems are built, they are a major public infrastructure, and you see property values and rents go up in these areas, usually," said Aaron Cain, a Planning Supervisor for the city.

View from the hilltop at Carver Pond Apartments on Meriwether Drive in Durham, North Carolina
Ildar Sagdejev

  In North Carolina, two million families live without adequate housing. 

A picture of a window with a for rent sign.
capl_@_washjeff.edu / Creative Commons

North Carolina has better houses and apartments for sale or rent than in recent years. But Bob Kucab says with that rise in quality, affordability has become a problem. He directs the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency.

“And the biggest culprit is quite simply that housing costs have risen faster than incomes for most families over the past 10 years,” Kucab says.

Now, developers, real estate agents, lenders and agencies are gathering to share potential solutions.