The Orange County Board of Commissioners approved four affordable housing projects to receive funds from the 2016 Affordable Housing bond approved by Orange County voters. The projects will include developing infrastructure and site improvement costs for two communities that will eventually house 217 affordable housing rental and ownership units.
The four projects are:
- Weaver' s Grove (Habitat for Humanity): $134,160 to assist with infrastructure and site improvement costs for Weavers Grove, Habitat' s future development of 100 affordable homes off of Sunrise Road in Chapel Hill. Habitat also plans to sell 136 finished lots to market-rate builders to develop entry-level homeownership opportunities. The project' s vision is to create a thriving, mixed- income community of homes that are aesthetically pleasing, architecturally integrated, and energy efficient. This would be the first affordable housing development in this section of Chapel Hill.
- Chase Park Apartments Stairwell Rehabilitation (InChuCo): $165,840 to make critical repairs to eight elevated stairwell landings between the upper levels of the four residential buildings at Chase Park Apartments, a 45-year old complex home to 40 affordable units. The stairwell landings require immediate attention because of their deteriorated condition.
- PEACH Apartments (EmPOWERment, Inc. partnering with Pine Knolls Community Center): $700,000 to construct eight affordable rental apartments in the Northside Neighborhood Conservation District at the location of the former Pine Knolls Center. This project will produce a mixed-income, multigenerational apartment building that will honor the historical culture of this neighborhood.
- 2200 Homestead Road (Center for Community Self-Help partnering with CASA, Community Home Trust and Habitat for Humanity): $1,500,000 to develop infrastructure and site improvements at 2200 Homestead Road to prepare individual parcels for construction of approximately 117 affordable rental and affordable homeownership units. Site development includes demolition of an existing vacant building, site grading and paving, installing water, sewer, and storm water infrastructure, and construction of community amenities, such as greenways, open spaces, sidewalks, outdoor seating, community garden, basketball court, and landscaping throughout the site.
The projects were recommended for funding by the Affordable Housing Advisory Board, which scored each project on several factors, including income and vulnerable population targeting; leveraging of other funding sources; building and site design, including environmental sustainability and accessibility features; project feasibility and developer experience.
“Orange County residents will benefit greatly from the bond-funded projects to preserve and develop new affordable homes,” said Emila Sutton, Orange County Housing and Community Development Director. “Housing is a known social determinant of health -- quality, affordable, safe, and stable housing greatly improve health outcomes. Affordable housing also prevents homelessness and the trauma that experiencing homelessness creates for community members, especially children.”
In November 2016, voters in Orange County approved a $5 million bond to support affordable housing projects in the county. Half of the bond funds ($2.5 million) were awarded in 2017.