For a Better Future
Wake County has an unmet housing need of approximately 56,000 units for low-income households. With Wake County population growing, the need for additional affordable units to accommodate a greater total number of low-income households is expected to rise exponentially. At the same time, overall supply of affordable housing in Wake County is decreasing by about 900 units per year. Together, there will be a significant increase in unmet housing needs from 120,000 to 150,000 units by 2035.
$15 million is a start to address the demand and will make an impact on Affordable Housing, but it may not keep pace with the significant growth,.
There are two interesting strategic investments described in the Wake County Affordable Housing Plan:
New Local Funding Sources for Affordable Housing
Develop new sources of affordable housing funding, with an emphasis on value capture tools to harness Wake County’s rapid growth. The three potential funding approaches include increasing County General Fund revenue, expanding the use of increment financing, and deploying special assessments districts.
Changes to North Carolina’s Qualified Allocation Plan
Support changes to the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency (NCHFA)’s process for allocating federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTCs) to better address the housing needs of Wake County residents and help meet the County’s housing goals, particularly in regard to increased rental production, preservation, and supportive housing.
Also, the Wake County Affordable Housing Plan has a concept, goals and tools to ensure long-time residents can remain in their neighborhoods; it is called preservation.
Preservation is considered the other half of the solution to Affordable Housing. It increases the overall affordable housing supply, as it ensures that production yields net new units, instead of just replacing existing units that are being lost. Without effective preservation, construction of new affordable units will not be sufficient on its own to meet the affordable housing need.
The preservation tools focus on providing the County with the resources and information that it needs to become more proactive in preserving affordable units so it can:
intervene when units are at risk;
capitalize on opportunities to preserve significant amounts of existing affordable housing via the redevelopment of public housing; and
ensure that units created with government subsidy maintain their affordability for as long as possible.
The top two preservation tools in the Wake County Affordable Housing Plan are:
Preservation Fund: Establish a preservation loan fund, in partnership with philanthropic or mission-motivated investors and municipalities, to provide low cost permanent financing to maintain existing affordable multifamily rental properties.
Affordable Housing Preservation Warning System: Develop and maintain an affordable housing preservation warning system that tracks existing affordable units and guides preservation investments to prevent their conversion to market-rate units and improve their quality.