Two years ahead of schedule, the Wake County Board of Commissioners has surpassed its goal of creating 2,500 affordable housing units by 2023. Today, the board approved providing $4.3 million in gap funding to build 288 units in Raleigh, bringing the total number of affordable units created since 2019 to 2,507.
“We’ve achieved a historic milestone in ensuring our residents have access to safe, stable and affordable housing,” said Wake County Commissioner Vickie Adamson. “Addressing the housing crisis in our county has been a top priority for this board, and I’m elated we’ve met our goal far sooner than originally projected.”
In total, the affordable housing units approved since 2019 represent a $37.8 million investment from the County, which, in turn, leveraged more than $405 million from other financial sources to benefit the community. For every $1 invested by Wake County, we saw almost $11 in return.
This $37.8 million investment averages to about $15,000 per unit, which must remain affordable for 30 years. That’s an annual cost of only $503 a year to provide a family or senior with a safe, affordable home.
The 2,507 units include a mix of rental housing, single family homes for ownership and permanent supportive housing. Nearly every municipality in Wake County has benefitted from the board approving the development of affordable units in their communities. These locations include:
- Holly Springs,
- Wake Forest, and
“The units created over the past three years are a clear demonstration of the County’s commitment to affordable housing and the collective work of our department and the local municipalities,” said Wake County Housing Affordability and Community Revitalization Department Director Lorena McDowell. “We’re happy to have reached this goal so early, and today we’re celebrating our successes, but tomorrow our work continues.”
Housing is considered affordable when housing expenses are less than 30% of someone’s monthly income. 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. With these numbers, it’s projected that 25% of the population is struggling to find a place to live that they can afford.
The board’s actions directly support the 20-year Affordable Housing Plan approved in Oct. 2017. It also aligns with the board’s 2021 community health and vitality goal of creating affordable housing opportunities and supporting efforts to end homelessness.