The Chapel Hill Town Council introduced and approved its first comprehensive Affordable Housing Plan and Investment Strategy during its Sept. 13 meeting.
In order to achieve the plan's goal of building 900 new homes and preserving 400 existing affordable homes, Chapel Hill Affordable Housing requested $10 million annually from the Town.
The plan also outlines four goals to address affordable housing challenges over the next five years — reducing barriers to building affordable homes, expanding affordable homeownership, preserving existing affordable rental housing and increasing staff and funding capacity.
Sarah Viñas, the director of affordable housing and community connections for the Town, said Chapel Hill Affordable Housing partnered with staff, community stakeholders and a national consulting firm to create the plan.
She said data collected from the American Community Survey was also useful for getting a sense of what local housing needs are and what strategies might be most appropriate to address them.
“The housing market has really changed dramatically through the pandemic,” Viñas said. “So housing costs have skyrocketed, as have development costs. We’re seeing that there's a really limited housing supply.”
She said the Town has exhausted all of its major resources for affordable housing.
Chapel Hill Mayor Pam Hemminger said housing prices have soared in the region quite dramatically, especially since 2018, which has been pushing even more people out of the community.
She said over 40,000 people commute to Chapel Hill every day for work.