The Daily Tar Heel

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Thursday August 18th

Raleigh nonprofit plans for affordable housing in Chapel Hill

This February, Raleigh nonprofit DHIC Inc. submitted its plans for building 80 affordable family apartments at 1721 Legion Road.

Gregg Warren, president of DHIC, was volunteering in a panel for affordable housing in Chapel Hill when he was approached by concerned residents who knew about his work and wanted to collaborate on a similar project in the area. 

Three weeks later, the company began navigating the process required for the project.

“We expect to get the approval from the town council in May. Then, we will need to submit our building plan, which also needs approval," said Natalie Britt, vice president for real estate development at DHIC. “Therefore, we are not going to start the construction until the fall, and the apartments won’t be complete until mid-2017.”

The apartments are geared towards low-income households.

The rent, which tenants would pay to the DHIC, would be cheaper, from $271 for a one-bedroom apartment to $870 for three bedrooms. 

“We are very excited about this project,” said town council member Donna Bell. “The town has donated land to DHIC in order to keep the prices down. We think that many families could benefit from the apartments." 

Bell said other affordable housing projects in the area, such as Habitat for Humanity, are helpful, but work on a smaller scale.

“The development on Legion Road will offer much needed affordable rentals to Chapel Hill families. I expect the rent will be much lower than typical market-rate rent in Chapel Hill," said Robert Dowling, executive director of the Community Home Trust, a nonprofit that helps the affordable housing issue in Chapel Hill and Carrboro. "We need more affordable rental options in Chapel Hill and Carrboro, and we need rental options for single individuals as well.”

But the Legion Road apartments won't be occupied for a while.

“We are not looking for residents yet. Our organization usually waits until three months prior to the end of the construction process,” Britt said. “This is because their incomes need to be verified by a third party before they are allowed to sign the contract, to make sure that we are working with those families who really need our services.”

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