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Chapel Hill receives tax credit award for Tanyard Branch Trace

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The future site of Tanyard Branch Trace Development is located at Jay Street in Chapel Hill, N.C.

The Town of Chapel Hill received a nine percent Low-Income Housing Tax Credit award for the development of Tanyard Branch Trace, an affordable housing complex on Jay Street. The project will provide 48 affordable rental units for residents with incomes up to 60 percent of the area's median income.

The development will consist of two buildings and include a variety of one-, two- and three-bedroom floor plans.

Daniele Berman is the director of external relations for Community Home Trust, a nonprofit affordable housing organization. She said the units are considered workplace housing due to the range of incomes they will benefit.

The Town is partnering with Community Home Trust and the developer Taft-Mills Group for the Tanyard Branch Trace development.

The Town was selected for the tax credit award to aid with the development of these units. To be eligible for tax credits, the property must remain affordable for 15 to 30 years for those with incomes at or below 80 percent of the area's median income. The tax credit is available annually for 10 years.

Emily Holt, the affordable housing manager for Chapel Hill, said the development received a perfect score on project location and site suitability and met many additional requirements to be chosen for the award. 

Other qualifications include market demand, design of construction and accessibility. Only one of four proposals is selected annually, and Tanyard Branch Trace was the only project in Orange County to receive the award this year.

Holt said a variety of factors were considered in the decision to build this development on Jay Street, including walkability, access to water and sewer lines and proximity to public transportation. The development will also connect to the Tanyard Branch Trail, a 0.4-mile walkway that connects the Northside neighborhood with Umstead Park and the Bolin Creek Trail.

“There was a committee that worked to assess the variety of parcels, and this was one of three that rose to the top,” she said.

Chapel Hill Mayor Pro Tem Karen Stegman said the development will be built on land donated by the Town. She said the local government should have a vital role in providing affordable housing to residents.

“Chapel Hill has really been a leader, especially in the last five or six years in affordable housing,” Stegman said. “We allocated a very significant amount of funding of our [American Rescue Plan Act] funds that we received during COVID to affordable housing.”

Chapel Hill has invested $21.6 million in affordable housing, Stegman said. The council unanimously approved a draft of the new five-year affordable housing plan and investment strategy during its meeting on Wednesday.

In Orange County, 58 percent of renter households are rent-burdened — which means they spend more than 30 percent of their income on rent. 

“I think everybody knows that the pandemic just made things worse and made it hard for folks to afford everything from rent to groceries to gas to, you know, all the things that we need to get through day to day,” Berman said.

She said there is no current timeline for when the building construction will begin. Berman said that when more information about applications and timing is available, it will be released through the Community Home Trust website. 

“We're really excited to get started, but there's still a lot of work to do before those units are available,” Berman said.

@DTHCityState | city@dailytarheel.com

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