Citizen advocate Bob Geary at the Independent delved into affordable housing and the lack of it in Wake County last week. Geary cites North Hills massive redevelopment and increased density as problematic in that there was no requirement of affordable housing in exchange for the density increase. This is particularly problematic because in North Hill’s phase II much of the land was previously affordable housing. Geary lays out the facts:
A new housing analysis published by the Wake County Human Services Department shows roughly 46,000 Raleigh households (35 percent) are paying too much for their housing, using the generally accepted federal standard that housing should cost no more than 30 percent of family income. The main reason: There’s not enough housing available at lower prices.
Most of those overpaying are renters with incomes below 50 percent of the median household income for the Raleigh-Cary metro area, which in 2006 was $69,800 a year. At the low end, for families with incomes below 30 percent of the median—$21,000 a year or less—the housing shortage is growing by some 1,300 units annually, according to the county’s analysis.
And then talks about what other cities are doing to encourage affordable housing:
About 400 communities around the country have inclusionary zoning ordinances, but only a handful are in North Carolina. Davidson, the college town near Charlotte, was the first to adopt a mandatory ordinance in 2001. Chapel Hill has a non-mandatory program with guidelines that encourage developers to include 15 percent affordable units in rezoning applications, which are otherwise not likely to be approved.