With the passage of Chapel Hill's new affordable housing bond, the Town is aiming to increase housing options and create a more affordable, welcoming city. However, there’s still a ways to go before the effects of the bond are seen.
“I’m delighted it passed,” said Chapel Hill Mayor Pam Hemminger. “It shows community support for community housing and gives us some dollars to do things with.”
Making Chapel Hill "a place for everyone” is part of the Town's 2020 comprehensive plan to improve, including supporting projects on transportation, waste planning and businesses. Adopting and supporting affordable housing is also featured in the Town Council goals for 2016-2018.
According to unofficial election results, the $10 million affordable housing bond was approved by 72 percent of voters. This is the largest amount of money put towards affordable housing in Chapel Hill's history.
The Town Council approved three uses for the funds: acquisition of homes, home repairs and construction on new affordable housing units.
The funding will come from an estimated tax increase of one penny for each $100 of property value and will be prioritized for several different projects, including housing for households making below 60 percent of the area’s median income, rental housing for vulnerable populations and long-term affordable housing options.
“The housing is more aimed at families in the community,” Hemminger said. “We’re looking at transitions from our shelters into housing, and we have waitlists of people waiting to get into public housing.”
The first step for the project will begin in January 2019, when the Town Council will discuss a resolution certifying and approving the results of the election. Following that, the council will work with community partners and staff to prioritize projects.
The city has seven years from the election date — Nov. 6 — to issue the bonds.