Get Involved

To successfully achieve affordable housing for all Wake County residents, we need your support!

See the latest strategic plans to increase affordable housing below.

The Challenge

There are approximately 56,000 working households making less than $39,000 a year in Wake County currently unable to find affordable housing. Current trends show that number may increase to as many as 150,000 households over the next 20 years.

To address this growing need, the Wake County Board of Commissioners approved the 20-year Affordable Housing Plan in October 2017, developed by the Affordable Housing Steering Committee. While there is no single solution to the challenge, the plan includes several strategies to improve housing affordability in Wake County.

Wake County’s Department of Housing Affordability and Community Revitalization supports housing affordability strategies and homeless services that are not supported by the housing market – helping make our county more affordable to more people.

What is affordable housing?

Housing is considered affordable when families spend no more than 30% of their income on housing expenses.* Families who pay more than this for housing are considered cost burdened and may have difficulty affording other necessities. Affordable housing can be anywhere. It can be renter or owner occupied. It can be single-family, multi-family or anything in between. It must meet standards of being safe, decent and conforming to all building and safety codes.

*According to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development

 

Why is housing affordability a challenge in Wake County?

Nearly every city in the U.S. is having a hard time providing affordable housing for their residents. There are different reasons why, but also common themes across cities. The trends below are the main factors affecting affordable housing in Wake County specifically, many of which are also seen elsewhere in the country.

Wake County Population Growth 2000-2035

Rapid population growth is generating upward pressure on the cost of housing. Wake County will add approximately 430,000 more residents over the next 20 years, growing by an average of 22,000 people each year.

Growth in Housing Cost Relative to Income

Household incomes are not keeping pace with escalating housing costs. Since 2006, the median household income for those without a bachelor’s degree has increased 10%, while rental housing costs have increased 35%.

Total Resident Building Permits

Affordable housing development has not kept pace with demand or need. In 2015, 500 affordable housing units were produced, representing just 5% of the county’s total housing production.

Annual Housing Loss

There is a loss of naturally occurring and subsidized affordable housing developments. In 2015, Wake County experienced a net loss of approximately 300 units of affordable housing.

Unmet Housing Need

Unmet housing needs are growing rapidly. Today, 56,000 low-income households are unable to find affordable housing. Current trends show that number may increase to as many as 150,000 households over the next 20 years.

Why is housing affordability important?

Affordable housing is the foundation for personal and professional wellbeing. Unfortunately, a family with one full-time worker earning the minimum wage cannot afford the local fair-market rent for a two-bedroom apartment anywhere in the United States. Most in our community who find themselves homeless or cost-burdened by housing have been priced out by rising costs in the housing market.

Over the course of a year more than 5,000 individuals and families experience homelessness in Wake County. Wake County's high cost of living, especially housing expenses, makes a homeless person's transition to housing stability an often long and frustrating process. It also means that many people that make Wake County a great place to live – including educators, service workers, public safety employees, and others – have trouble finding homes in their community.

Exploring the Affordable Housing Crisis in Wake County

Strategies

While Wake County and its municipalities face a growing housing crisis, they have the opportunity to mitigate this situation by implementing recommended tools to more effectively address residents’ housing needs. The Wake County Affordable Housing Plan outlines three essential strategies to address Wake County’s growing housing crisis:

Land Use Policy

The county and its municipalities will use their land use regulations and zoning authorities to indirectly support the production and preservation of affordable housing. More intensive and flexible land use will better enable housing supplies to keep pace with housing needs. This strategy will also help to mitigate housing cost increases and reduce the pressure to convert existing affordable units to market-rate housing.

Leveraged Programs

New subsidized affordable housing will be created or preserved to meet residents’ needs. Structuring programs to effectively combine public funding with private and philanthropic capital will increase the total amount of affordable housing that can be produced or preserved.

New Public Resources

New funding sources for affordable housing production and preservation will be developed to increase the resources available to meet housing challenges. A dedicated public subsidy will help produce affordable housing that closes the gap between what a household can afford to pay and what it costs to develop and maintain quality housing

These strategies provide a roadmap to better address residents’ housing needs. By pursuing these tools, the county, along with its municipal partners, can increase the development of affordable housing while also protecting existing affordable housing.

Plans and Public Notices

Public Notice – Sportsmanship Crossing Affordable Housing Apartment Development

To all interested agencies, groups and persons: On or about February 22, 2021, Wake County Housing Affordability & Community Revitalization will send a request to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for the release of federal funds under the HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME). The release of funds is requested for a proposed 124-unit affordable housing apartment development at 1317 N. Main St., Holly Springs, NC.

Documentation for review:

Notice of Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) and Request Release of Funds (RROF)

Environmental Review Record (ERR)

Any individual, group, or agency may submit written comments to:

Mr. John Scales
Housing Affordability & Community Revitalization
Wake County Government
PO Box 550, WCOB 440
Raleigh, NC 27602-0550
[email protected]

Written comments must be received on or before February 22, 2021. All comments will be considered, and the County will not ask for the release of funds or take any administrative action on the project before the date specified in the preceding sentence.

Public Hearing: Wake County 2021 Action Plan for Affordable Housing

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN THAT Wake County will hold two public hearings. The first hearing will be on Monday, Feb. 1, at 5 p.m. Due to the COVID-19 Safer-at-Home Order, Wake County will hold the hearing virtually. To submit a comment and livestream the public hearing, go to the Wake County Board of Commissioners' meeting schedule page. The second hearing will be Tuesday, Feb. 8, at 2 p.m. during the Continuum of Care NC-507 Check-in Call accessible through GoToMeeting. Attend the public hearing via this link.

The purpose of this public hearing is to receive comments from interested parties on the County’s housing and community development needs. Wake County will use the information received to prepare the draft 2021 Action Plan. The Action Plan is required for the County to receive funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The Action Plan describes the activities to be carried out from July 1, 2021, through June 30, 2022, in Wake County, outside of Raleigh. The Action Plan goals are to increase and preserve affordable housing, address policy barriers to housing affordability, and support vulnerable populations and communities through activities address the needs outlined below:

Priority One:

  • Households earning 0-50% AMI
  • Vulnerable populations experiencing or at-risk homelessness

Priority Two:

  • Households earning 51-60% AMI
  • Vulnerable populations not experiencing homelessness

Priority Three: 

  • Households earning 61-80% AMI

For more information, please contact Diana Youssef with the Wake County Department of Housing Affordability & Community Revitalization at 919-508-0781. Speech or hearing-impaired persons may contact 1-800-735-2962 (TT) or 1-800-735-8262 (voice).

Notice of Availability of Wake County's 2019 Consolidated Annual Performance and Evaluation Report (CAPER) and 2019 Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) CAPER

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN THAT Wake County is preparing the 2019 Consolidated Annual Performance and Evaluation Report (CAPER) and Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) CAPER. These reports are the fifth part of the 5-year Consolidated Plan (July 2015–June 2020) mandated by the National Housing Act of 1990 and are required in order for Wake County to receive federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), Housing Opportunities for Persons with Aids (HOPWA), HOME Investment Partnerships, and Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The 2019 CAPER describes the housing and community development activities that were carried out during fiscal year 2020 (July 1, 2019–June 30, 2020) within Wake County, outside the city limits of Raleigh. The HOPWA CAPER describes activities carried out with HOPWA funds to assist households living with HIV/AIDS in Wake, Franklin and Johnston counties. Drafts of the 2019 CAPER (PDF) and HOPWA CAPER (PDF) are available here for a 15-day comment period from September 1, 2020–September 16, 2020. Copies are also available at the Wake County Department of Housing Affordability and Community Revitalization office at 336 Fayetteville St., Suite 440, Raleigh. Other locations for viewing a hard copy of the Draft CAPERs include select Wake County Homeless/Housing Service Centers, and Wake County Regional Centers. At the end of the comment period Wake County will compile and address all public comments received. Please send all comments to Vermecha Pulley at Wake County Housing, [email protected], or P.O. Box 550, 4th Floor WCOB, Raleigh, NC 27602 by 5:00 p.m. on September 16, 2020. For more information, contact Vermecha Pulley at (919) 856-5413. Speech or hearing-impaired persons may call 1-800-735-2962 (TT) or 1-800-735-8262 (voice).

Notice of 10-Day Public Comment Period for Wake County 2020 Action Plan Amendment:

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN THAT Wake County (Wake) Housing Affordability and Community Revitalization (HACR) Department is requesting public comments on a second distribution the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) grant funding for a period of 10 days starting August 24, 2020. All public comments will be considered prior to finalizing the plans for use of these funds. View the full notice here. (PDF: Public Notice 2020 AAP Amendment for COVID-19) In response to the Coronavirus Pandemic (COVID-19) the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) notified Wake of additional Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) fund allocations totaling $1,709,995 to be used to prevent, prepare for, and respond to COVID-19. Wake will amend the 2020 Annual Action Plan, to reflect the additional CARES Act COVID-19 funding. $1,709,995 in ESG funds will be used for activities facilitating assistance to eligible communities to prevent and respond to the spread of COVID-19. Eligible ESG activities include street outreach, emergency shelter, homelessness prevention, rapid rehousing, Homeless Management Information System and administration. On September 8, 2020, HACR will ask the Wake County Board of Commissioners to approve this amendment. Wake will make the amendments available for review and comment for at least 10 days on this webpage. Send all comments to Chris Whitenhill at [email protected] by 5:00 p.m. on September 3, 2020. For more information, contact 919-856-5265. Speech or hearing-impaired persons may call 1-800-735-2962 (TT) or 1-800-735-8262(voice).

Wake County Affordable Housing Plan

Approximately 56,000 working families who make less than $39,000 a year in Wake County are currently unable to find affordable housing. Current trends show that this number may increase to as many as 150,000 households over the next 20 years.

To address this growing need, the Wake County Board of Commissioners approved the 20-year Affordable Housing Plan developed by the Affordable Housing Steering Committee. 

You can learn more about the Affordable Housing Plan through the resources below:

Citizen Participation Plan

The Citizen Participation Plan (CPP) outlines how the public can access information regarding the County’s HUD grant programs. It describes how the public will be notified of program activities, projects which could result in the displacement and actions that would be undertaken if such displacement were to occur. The goal of the CPP is to provide all citizens of our community with adequate opportunities to participate in an advisory role in the planning, implementation and assessment of the County’s HUD grant programs.

2020-2025 Consolidated Plan

The 2020–2025 Consolidated Plan is a five-year plan to address the low-income housing and community development needs in Wake County. It includes a housing and homeless needs assessment and market analysis, a strategic plan and a one-year Action Plan.

Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice

This document is a comprehensive review of Wake County's demographics, economics, housing, land use, zoning, transportation, and other conditions. It takes the data from this review and assesses how these conditions impede the availability and accessibility of housing to the protected classes. It then describes actions the community can take to overcome identified impediments. A fair housing plan is then developed as part of the five-year Consolidated Plan. The fair housing plan describes the actions Wake County's Housing program will take to address the identified impediments.

2018 CAPER

Notice of 2018 CAPER Availability

Wake County has prepared the 2018 CAPER (Consolidated Annual Performance and Evaluation Report). This report is mandated by the National Housing Act of 1990 and is required in order for Wake County to receive federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and HOME money from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). A separate CAPER report is prepared for Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) funds.

The 2018 CAPER describes the activities that were carried out with HOME and CDBG funds during fiscal year 2019 (July 1, 2018, through June 30, 2019) within Wake County outside Raleigh and Holly Springs. For more information about the 2018 CAPER, contact Vermecha Pulley with the Wake County Housing Affordability and Community Revitalization Department at 919-856-5413. Speech- or hearing-impaired persons may call 1-800-735-2962 (TT) or 1-800-735-8262 (voice).

The 2018 HOPWA CAPER describes the activities that were carried out with HOPWA funds during fiscal year 2019 (July 1, 2018, through June 30, 2019) within the HOPWA entitlement area that covers Wake, Johnston and Franklin counties.

For more information about the 2018 HOPWA CAPER, contact Wake County Housing Affordability and Community Revitalization Department at 919-856-5689. Speech- or hearing-impaired persons may call 1-800-735-2962 (TT) or 1-800-735-8262 (voice).

How Can You Help?

To successfully achieve affordable housing for all Wake County citizens, we need your support! We want to hear from you! Email us at [email protected]

Take Action

Attend a Board of Commissioners meeting when a topic that interests you is on the agenda.

Spread the Word!

Share the affordable housing plan, fact sheets and updated from the Housing Department on social media! Follow us on @WakeGov on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook for updates!