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Anne-Marie Vanaman to be new Carrboro Housing and Community Services Director

Photo Courtesy of Anne-Marie Vanaman, Carrboro Housing and Community Services Director.

Anne-Marie Vanaman has been selected to be the new director of Housing and Community Services for the Town of Carrboro following a national search for candidates.

The final selection was made by Town Manager Richard J. White III, and the national search was conducted by Baker Tilly, a consulting firm hired by the Town.

Vanaman had previously served as interim director for the Housing and Community Services Department and has worked with providing affordable housing for Carrboro and Orange County for over 15 / 20 years.

She said one of the most important aspects of her goals for the Town is promoting racial equity in accordance with the Town's comprehensive plan, which was adopted in 2022.

“That just really encompasses all of our work, because housing impacts all areas of life and well-being,” Vanaman said. “If you are living in a substandard home, it's going to impact your health, it's going to impact the educational outcomes of children, it ripples across everywhere.”

In an email, Vanaman said the housing projects she plans to pursue include seeking funding and resources for homeownership counseling services, increasing funding for weatherization and preservation services, partnering with affordable housing developers to acquire more land for the Town and pursuing state and federal housing grants.

Before working for the Town, Vanaman worked for Habitat for Humanity of Orange County, helping to meet fundraising goals to build affordable housing communities.

“There’s nothing quite like going to a home dedication ceremony within that new neighborhood,” she said.

She said her work with Habitat for Humanity was rewarding because she was able to have a “direct tangible impact” on the lives of new homeowners, and that she is proud of the organization and its volunteers' efforts.

Vanaman was then hired by the Town of Carrboro in 2018, where, prior to her appointment as interim director in 2022, she worked in the town manager’s office and also served as a Housing and Community Services Department coordinator.

In her work with the Town, she led the racial equity assessment of both Carrboro's Affordable Housing Special Revenue Fund and Chapel Hill's Outside Agencies/Human Services – the latter of which was done in collaboration with the Town of Chapel Hill.

“I saw it as a way to do something different to approach community service from a different perspective, and also bring the skill set that I had to the Town,” she said.

Randee Haven-O’Donnell, a Carrboro Town Council member, said they believe Vanaman’s previous non-profit work has contributed to her ability to understand and provide for community needs. 

Haven-O’Donnell said that resolving housing issues will require teamwork from the county and municipalities. She also noted that an important aspect of housing is providing a range of different types of housing, including student housing. 

“Anne-Marie really understands that in order to look at affordability, it’s not just today,” Haven-O'Donnell said. “You need to look at the community in terms of long-term affordability.” 

Haven-O'Donnell also said that viewing providing housing as a long-term process is helpful in providing racial equity within affordable housing.

Another important aspect of equality within housing is considering income and helping those experiencing homelessness, Jackie Jenks, CEO of the Inter-Faith Council for Social Service, said.

“She also has helped strategize around some of the challenges that IFC has had with limited resources for folks experiencing homelessness, and I find that she has a good grasp of the need for housing for folks at the lowest end of the income,” Jenks said.

@DTHCityState |

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