In 2018, Chapel Hill voters decided to take action against a growing shortage of affordable housing in their community. They approved a $10 million bond with the purpose of constructing new affordable housing units. Two years have come and gone, and the bond, though approved, has yet to be spent.
Finally, after a long wait, it seems that the Town of Chapel Hill is poised to start making good on this promise.
So far, the Town of Chapel Hill has identified two projects that will likely be funded using bond money. The first is to construct new affordable units on the 2200 Homestead Road Development, while the second is to renovate existing affordable housing units in Trinity Court. The Town has also indicated that they will seek outside sources of funding from organizations like Habitat for Humanity.
The Editorial Board applauds the Town of Chapel Hill’s efforts to take on the affordable housing problem, particularly in their willingness to construct a variety of non-single-family homes. This is a focus that many Town Council candidates mentioned when we interviewed them leading up to the November election.
One of the biggest problems that Chapel Hill faces with regard to affordable housing is space. The town, to put it nicely, is small. There is only so much room to develop, and even less to construct housing units for below market price. Thus, in order to efficiently meet the problem, Chapel Hill should move away from the single-family-home model and towards other designs, like duplexes. A mix of both is necessary, but the inclusion of different types of developments is promising.