The affordable housing nonprofit CASA has proposed to build an affordable apartment complex for Durham public school teachers.
The Triangle-based nonprofit hopes to finance the project with the help of the SECU Foundation, the philanthropic branch of the State Employees' Credit Union of North Carolina.
Plans for the project are still in preliminary stages, and many details of the proposal are under discussion between the SECU Foundation, CASA and the Durham Public School System. While the Durham Board of Education has approved the plan, the SECU Foundation has not received a final proposal from CASA. Once the SECU Foundation receives the proposal, it will be vetted and presented to the Foundation’s Board for final approval.
CASA Housing Developer Jess Brandes is hopeful that the new 24-apartment complex will be built and become available to Durham Public School teachers in the next three years.
“Our hope is that as soon as we can have site control and have our financing in place, we would be available to move forward with design and construction as soon as possible,” Brandes said.
The SECU foundation has worked with other nonprofits in counties across North Carolina to finance similar projects, for instance, the Williams-Baldwin Teacher Campus became available to Asheville teachers in May.
“Teacher housing falls in line with our goal to improve housing in North Carolina and help people gain access to housing where they have limited access,” said Jama Dagenhart, executive director of the SECU Foundation.
CASA is working with the Durham Public School System to determine the number of apartment options based on the needs of its teachers.
“We got survey information from Durham Public School System teachers early on in the process to learn what teachers would prefer and what they are looking for,” Brandes said. “From that information, we felt that two-bedroom apartments were in more demand.”