Affordable housing is both a critical and difficult challenge – there is no one simple solution. Nonetheless, I am convinced that if we as a Town continue to work together, real progress can be made. In that regard I suggest the following:
- There is no one “home run” solution to the problem. Singles and doubles are required.
- If affordable housing is a Town-wide problem, as I believe that it is, then the Town will have to play a significant role in solving it, particularly in terms of committing resources
- The Town needs to have a clear understanding of the needs it is trying to address and a specific plan for addressing them, including how it will deploy the $760,000 referenced above for maximum effect and whether that sum is, in fact sufficient.
- UNC and UNC Health Care will need to play a key role, quite possibly by providing land that can substantially reduce construction costs and greatly improve affordability
- Collaborations and partnerships between the Town, the University, and a range of not-for-profit and for profit entities will be needed.
Chapel Hill, to its great credit, is committed to significantly expanding affordable housing. By creating partnerships and working together we can make this a reality.