Over 50 leaders from ONE Wake institutions attended last night's Affordable Housing Team meeting. This meeting marked the end of two months of municipal level research and action on affordable housing issues. Here's what we learned:
1) Affordable Housing Development in Holly Springs Receives Significant Support
Last week Holly Springs residents organized 128 public comments through ONE Wake to their Town Council in support of affordable housing development on county owned land north of Ting Park. During the rezoning hearing for the property last week the Town Council reported that 95% of all public comments received were in support of the development. The development will continue to a second planned hearing on April 6. An additional issue in Holly Springs is emerging around odors from a nearby Wake County landfill which impacts the north end of town where this development will be located.
2) ONE Wake Audit Identifies Land Owned by the City of Raleigh
The Raleigh sub-group has identified multiple parcels of land owned by the City of Raleigh that could potentially be used for affordable housing development. The parcels range in size and location from downtown to east Raleigh, and outside the beltway. The next step is for the Raleigh sub-group to schedule a meeting with a planner from the City of Raleigh to learn more about the land we have researched. Ultimately this could lead to ONE Wake taking action to secure this valuable land for affordable housing development.
3) The Town of Cary Lags Far Behind Triangle Cities in Local $ for Affordable Housing
The Cary sub-group has conducted a comparative study of local funds available for affordable housing. Compared to nearby cities of Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill, Cary ranks last both in terms of affordable housing bonds as well as designated line item funding. This study identifies significant opportunities for ONE Wake to leverage the Cary's municipal elections to win commitments from candidates to increase local funding, which could lead to a significant infusion of much needed funds. For example, if Cary was to match Chapel Hill's recent bond investment, a pro-rata Cary bond based on population would be $27 million.
4) Las Americas Residents Call for ONE Wake Support at Upcoming Press Conference
ONE Wake member institution Las Americas R2W is organizing a virtual press conference Saturday at 4:00 pm to call for a meeting with the owner of their mobile home park community. Las Americas is composed of nearly 300 households and is one of the largest affordable housing options left in the Town of Cary. During our founding assembly ONE Wake publicly pledged to support the resident-led organizing effort to address substandard conditions and unfair treatment of residents.
The press conference has been organized to address a new contract which residents have been asked to sign by the end of the month. Residents have met with lawyers through the NC Justice Center who have expressed concern that many conditions included in the contract are unenforceable, and unjust.
The purpose of the action is to secure a meeting with the owner to negotiate fair terms for residents of Las Americas. During the Affordable Housing Team meeting ONE Wake leaders pledged to deliver at least 50 to attend the action Saturday at 4:00 pm. The link to join the press conference is here: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88926079294
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