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Thursday February 2nd

Affordable housing development on Merritt Mill Road to be completed in January 2023

Perry Place, the new Orange County community located on Merritt Mill Road, pictured on Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022.
Buy Photos Perry Place, the new Orange County community located on Merritt Mill Road, pictured on Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022.

Perry Place, a new affordable housing development by CASA, a nonprofit organization that provides affordable housing in the Triangle, is under construction on Merritt Mill Road.

The development straddles the line between Carrboro and Chapel Hill. It will create 48 one- and two-bedroom apartments. The new community is for those earning less than 60 percent of the area's median income, and some of the units will be reserved for people with disabilities.

Rent will be between $350 to $950 a month and rental subsidies will be accepted for all of the units. 

Rachel Eberhard, a real estate developer at CASA, said construction should be finished in January 2023 and the organization is hoping to have leases complete by April of that year. Those interested in becoming residents at Perry Place cannot apply yet but may join a waitlist, Eberhard said.

The Town of Carrboro, Town of Chapel Hill, Orange County and nonprofit Strowd Roses provided funding for predevelopment and land costs. 

Perry Place is a tax credit property, meaning the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency funded 9 percent of the cost of building it. This supports CASA in operating and renting out the property at below market value. 

Eberhard said this is CASA and the Town of Carrboro’s first tax credit development, making it a special project as it affects the size capabilities of the project.

“The tax credit program, as it's administered by the state, allows us to build more units more affordably and so we're able to keep rates lower, while still building larger projects,” Eberhard said.

Perry Place is named in memorial of Velma Perry, a lifelong Northside resident and activist.

Carrboro Mayor Damon Seils said the Triangle region is experiencing a housing crisis. He said, as one of the fastest growing regions in the country, the market is under a lot of pressure. This means people who live in the Triangle have difficulty staying in their homes, and those who want to move here have trouble finding housing they can afford, he said. 

Seils said Perry Place and other publicly subsidized housing meet an important need for those struggling to find affordable housing.

He said there is also not enough housing to meet demand. So, in addition to publicly subsidized housing, he said different varieties of housing need to be developed in the community.

“The key is remembering that we have a responsibility not only to provide public subsidies for affordable housing at the lower end of the income spectrum, we also have a responsibility to reform our zoning laws so that there’s a possibility of having more types of housing for more people in our community that they can afford,” Seils said.

Eberhard said there is a stigma around low-income affordable housing. 

“These homes that CASA builds, and what you'll see at Perry Place will rival any sort of market-rate building that you will see," she said. "I think it'll do a really good job of blending in with the character that folks are very concerned about and in Chapel Hill, maintaining that character and that feel."

Perry Place will include amenities such as a covered picnic table, an ADA-accessible playground, a multipurpose room, a resident computer center and porches or balconies at each unit.

The last inspections are currently being finished before the walls are closed on the development, Eberhard said. At the beginning of October, construction will be focused on drywalling and hanging sheetrock. 

After the walls are closed, construction should move quickly, Eberhard said. She also said traffic should not be disturbed through the completion of the project.

@DTHCityState | city@dailytarheel.com

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