Chapel Hill council focuses on affordable housing

Various housing items were approved in April council meetings


The Town of Chapel Hill Council held two regular meetings in April, with affordable housing at the forefront of their discussions.

A zoning application was approved for Longleaf Trace, a new 48-unit, 55+ age-restricted, affordable housing unit on the 1700 block of Legion Road.

“This is a great project,” said council member Karen Stegman. “It’s great to have great partnerships like this just come to us and offer 100% affordable developments. When we talk about a complete community and what meets our goals, a core tenet of a complete community is access, availability and having a place for everyone. This is a very important part of our equity and affordability goal.”

The council also held a public forum on the use of 2024-25 Community Development Block Grant Funds.

“We are midway through the planning process for 2025 CDBG funding,” said affordable housing manager Emily Holt. “CDBG is a program administered by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. It was set up by Congress in 1974 for the purposes of providing decent affordable housing, creating suitable living environments and expanding economic opportunity. The Town of Chapel Hill is designated as what is called an entitlement community which means it receives an annual allocation of CDBG funds directly from HUD.”

According to Holt, all projects approved and funded as part of the CDBG annual action plan must address either benefitting low or moderate income households, aiding in the prevention or elimination of slum or blight or meeting an urgent need.

The current 2024-25 CDBG budget is $426,563 and the funding will be distributed to six applicants: Community Home Trust Homebuyer Subsidy, Rebuilding Together of the Triangle Home Repairs, Neighborhood Revitalization, Transplanting Traditions Community Farm Microenterprise Development, Town’s Summer Youth Employment Program and Inter-Faith Council Homeless Case Management.

A vote on the final funding plan is projected to take place in June.

The council also approved an Affordable Housing Funding Plan, allocating $1.67 million to develop 66 new affordable units and preserve 10 units of existing affordable housing in the community.

The organizations that will be working with the town on the plan include Community Home Trust, EmPOWERment, Habitat for Humanity, Residential Services Inc. and Taft-Mills Group.