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The Daily Tar Heel

Here are the newest affordable housing projects coming to the Chapel Hill-Carrboro area

Two new affordable housing projects are coming to Chapel Hill and Carrboro, with construction expected to begin in late spring to early summer.

Two new affordable housing projects are coming to the Chapel Hill-Carrboro area. 

One — the Cobb Street project — is located in the Northside neighborhood. The second project, CASA's Perry Place community, will be located along South Merritt Mill Road. 

Here's a little bit more about each project: 

The Cobb Street project

On April 16, members of the Carrboro Town Council, volunteers, community members and future homeowners attended the wall raising event for an affordable housing project on Cobb Street.

The Cobb Street project, located in the Northside neighborhood, will be energy efficient and comprises four new units — two duplexes — for seniors and middle to low-income community members. The two units on the ground floor will be ADA-compliant. The homes target households earning between 30 to 80 percent of the area median income. 

Quinton Harper, chairperson for Carrboro's Affordable Housing Advisory Commission, attended the wall raising ceremony. He said there is a need for affordable housing in the area as many folks are being priced out.

"There are more folks in our community who are struggling to find affordable housing, who are struggling to make ends meet because they are paying more than 30 percent of their monthly income on housing," Harper said. "We know that the cost of living and minimum wage has not really increased to keep up with the rising costs of housing."

The Carrboro Town Council provided a $100,000 grant from its Affordable Housing Special Revenue Fund to help construct the new units. The Carrboro Town Council worked collaboratively, taking recommendations from many organizations, such as the Carrboro Affordable Housing Advisory Commission, Habitat for Humanity, Northside Neighborhood Initiative, Compass group and the Town of Carrboro. 

Carrboro Town Council member Barbara Foushee said an additional benefit of this new housing project is its access to downtown communities, transportation and other resources.

Foushee said the complex should be available in about eight months. 

Perry Place community

Community Alternatives for Supportive Abodes, CASA, recently announced its newest project in Chapel Hill-Carrboro, the Perry Place community, that will be located along South Merritt Mill Road. 

CASA is a nonprofit affordable housing developer and property manager that services middle and low-income community members in the Triangle area. This includes individuals living with disabilities, veterans and people who may have previously experienced homelessness.

The Perry Place community will be made up of 48 units – 24 in Chapel Hill and 24 in Carrboro – of one to two-bedroom apartments, with a portion reserved for people living with disabilities. 

Delores Bailey, the executive director of EmPOWERment, Inc., said the Perry Place project would target families and individuals earning between 30 to 60 percent of the Area Median Income. 

"The need (for affordable housing) has grown," Bailey said. "And the sector of the population that is hardest hit, and or the hardest time finding affordable housing in Chapel Hill, are those people who are living at the 60 to 30 percent AMI."

To fund the project, CASA received a zero percent interest Workforce Housing Loan and low-income housing tax credits from the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency. 

Orange County, Chapel Hill, Carrboro and the local nonprofit Strowd Roses, Inc., provided additional funding for the land and predevelopment costs. 

Perry Place community is named in honor of Velma Perry, a community activist and leader who was a long-standing board member for EmPOWERment, Inc., and lived in the Northside community. 

Foushee said affordable housing requires collaboration and support, especially financially, from housing providers and local organizations. 

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"Working with housing providers like CASA and habitat for humanity is gonna be key in providing more affordable housing in the community," Foushee said. 

Construction is expected to begin in late spring to early summer. 

@DTHCityState | 

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