Affordable Housing

Synora Robinson describes her life a year ago as comfortable and pleasant. She was coming up on 17 years at her job, was saving money and didn’t worry about being able to pay for her home.

“I was just able to have girls' night out or just have fun and not worry,” Robinson said. “There was no stress of what tomorrow may hold because I knew that I had things under control.”

Furniture out on the sidewalk in front of a red brick building
70023venus2009 / Flickr / CC

A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention eviction moratorium protects North Carolina tenants from evictions until the end of the year. Any tenant can provide their landlord with a declaration form that attests they are unable to pay their rent and at risk of homelessness.

Apartment balconies in Raleigh, NC.
Brandon Griggs / Unsplash / creative commons

On Tuesday, voters in Raleigh overwhelmingly approved an $80 million affordable housing bond. The bond is the largest in the city's history and will go toward building and sustaining affordable housing.

Apartment balconies in Raleigh, NC.
Brandon Griggs / Unsplash / creative commons

Voters in Raleigh are deciding on what would be the largest housing bond in the city's history. 

David Ford / WFDD

Over the past decade, Forsyth County has made some unflattering national news. 


Owning your first home is a rite of passage — a marker of true adulthood. For those privileged enough to buy a house, it is often the first step in building wealth. But millennials are not achieving that milestone at the same rate that Baby Boomers and Gen Xers did at their age. 

Book cover with a yellow leaf.
Courtesy of Therese Anne Fowler

The novel “A Good Neighborhood” (St. Martin’s Press/2020) starts with a premise familiar to many North Carolinians: new residents moving into a historic community and putting up a brand new, giant house. 

Leoneda Inge

The City of Durham has promised to give the Durham Housing Authority more than $1 million to help make repairs at its oldest public housing community - McDougald Terrace. Hundreds of residents have been displaced for more than a month since a carbon monoxide scare, causing some people to get sick.

Two images of the same street show stark differences in development.

Affordable housing is in limited supply in many communities in North Carolina. The problem is particularly acute in Wake and Mecklenburg counties, where the population growth has outpaced that in more rural parts of the state. WUNC data reporter Jason deBruyn explored what is happening to housing in the Triangle region for his new in-depth series “Where We Live.”

Jason DeBruyn / WUNC

200 families living in the McDougald Terrace public housing complex in Durham have been temporarily moved into hotels because of ongoing problems with carbon monoxide. The Durham Housing Authority put in place a voluntary evacuation order Friday as it conducts testing at the units. 

Greensboro skyline
Cityboi1978 / Creative Commons

A new report from the City of Greensboro outlines the issues residents face when it comes to fair housing, and how to tackle those problems. The report, prepared by the city's Neighborhood Development Department aims to increase housing choice and to identify patterns of fair housing complaints.

Courtesy of Maggie West

Racialized housing policies were in place in many U.S. cities for most of the 20th century, and the legacy persists. Redlining, urban renewal and an array of other policies shaped wealth and demographic patterns that inform how today’s cities look and run. Statistics paint a stark picture, but artists and scholars have also taken on the charge of humanizing the story.

A pile of rubble behind a sign for cottage rentals
Connie Leinbach / Ocracoke Observer

Nearly 10 weeks after Hurricane Dorian struck North Carolina’s coast, Ocracoke Island is still under an evacuation order blocking visitors and tourism. On Monday, Nov. 11, the Hyde County Board of Commissioners agreed to allow visitors starting Nov. 22, which is the same day the island’s main road is expected to reopen. 

Marian Spicer campaigned at the downtown Durham early voting site in favor of the affordable housing bond in Durham.
Jason deBruyn / WUNC

The sun had just taken a dip behind some heavy cloud cover when Marian Spicer set up a folding table with campaign fliers at the downtown Durham early voting site on a recent afternoon.

She mingled with other campaigners and approached voters to give them her pitch in favor of the proposed $95 million affordable housing bond.

Durham skyline.

Durham is one of a number of North Carolina cities that have experienced rapid growth in the last decade.

Aerial image of an American neighborhood with the houses in neat rows.
Getty Images

North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein joined 21 other state attorneys general in criticizing the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s proposed changes to the disparate impact standard.

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/

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,

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. 

The Problem With Airbnb

Apr 12, 2018
photo of the airbnb website, with pictures of rooms for rent

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.