Since 2010, Wake County has lost 59% of its stock of rental units priced below $750 a month and 40% of units priced below $1,000 a month. For many families, that means it’s getting harder to find a place to live that they can afford.
To address this challenge head on, the Wake County Board of Commissioners today approved a $10.5 million loan and multi-year contract with Self-Help Ventures Fund to preserve existing and naturally occurring affordable housing throughout Wake County. The program will be called The Affordable Housing Preservation Fund.
“It’s far easier to preserve a resource than to recreate it,” said Wake County Board of Commissioners Chair Matt Calabria. “By protecting our existing affordable housing, we can ensure families who’ve lived in affordable neighborhoods for generations don’t have to worry about getting priced out of their homes.”
In April, the County released an RFP for an Affordable Housing Preservation Fund Administrator. A review committee comprised of County Housing and Finance Departments, City of Raleigh Housing and Neighborhoods Department, and community advisors reviewed the proposals and selected Self-Help Ventures Fund.
Self-Help Ventures Fund proposed a $61.2 million fund with two products:
- Five-year acquisition financing to support the preservation of affordable housing using low-income housing tax credits; and
- A 15-year acquisition-to-permanent financing loan for the acquisition and preservation of naturally occurring affordable housing without low-income housing tax credits.
As administrators of the program, the company will raise funds from outside sources such as banks and charitable organizations to fully capitalize the fund. It will also commit at least $10 million of its own funds, as well as additional funds if Self-Help Ventures doesn’t reach its fundraising goal.
Wake County will monitor the fund and review its performance quarterly and annually, specifically looking at loan production, underwriting processes and loan performance.
In addition to the County’s loan, the City of Raleigh will request the commitment of $4 million from its city council to preserve affordable housing units within the city limits.
The Wake County Affordable Housing Plan was approved in 2017, and since then, more than 2,200 affordable housing units have been created and preserved.
The board’s actions today support its community health and vitality goal of creating affordable housing opportunities and supporting efforts to end homelessness.