The Chapel Hill Town Council has approved more than $450,000 in funding for three new affordable housing projects, including a new Habitat for Humanity development, a master leasing pilot program through Community Home Trust, and land acquisition assistance for Community Home Trust.
The Town is funding the projects through the Town’s Affordable Housing Development Reserve, a resource dedicated to the development and preservation of affordable housing. With the Town Council approval in February 2019, the Town has allocated all of its $690,000 reserve funds for the fiscal year.
Sunrise Road Project
Habitat for Humanity will use $266,797 to assist with land acquisition and predevelopment costs for the future development of 95 affordable homes off of Sunrise Road in Chapel Hill. This community is planned to be developed in partnership with Carol Woods, which is planning to build 128 units of assisted living and moderately priced market-rate homes for seniors. An additional $108,203 in funding is anticipated through the Town’s Affordable Housing Fund.
The project will target first-time homebuyers who earn less than 80 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI), have lived and/or worked in Orange County for at least one year, and live-in housing that is substandard, unsafe, unaffordable or subsidized. The planned vision is for a mixed-income, inter-generational neighborhood housing people of diverse ages, backgrounds, life stages and races. Construction is anticipated from 2022-2027.
Chandler Woods Acquisition
Community Home Trust will use reserve funding for two projects. One project is to acquire and resell townhomes being built in the Chandler Woods development. The other is to reduce costs of rental housing to households earning less than 30 percent of AMI through a master leasing pilot program in the Glen Lennox neighborhood.
The Chandler Woods project plans to use $90,000 in funding to acquire two three-bedroom units and four two-bedroom units, allowing Community Home Trust to sell the townhomes at affordable prices to qualified buyers. Three of the six units will be sold to buyers earning between 80 and 115 percent of AMI, while the other three will be sold to buyers earning between 65 and 80 percent of AMI. Each home will be sold using a 99-year ground lease, which will result in permanent affordability by limiting appreciation.
Master Leasing Pilot Program
The $97,324 awarded by the Town for Community Home Trust’s master leasing pilot program will assist with monthly rents, security deposits and utilities for families living in five Community Home Trust-subsidized apartments at reduced rates over a two-year time period. Employing a model that has not been used previously in Chapel Hill, Community Home Trust will lease near market rate apartments and sub-lease those apartments to program participants at lower, more affordable rent levels.
The project will target extremely low-income individuals and families earning less than 30 percent of AMI ($16,950 for a one-person household and $19,400 for a two-person household) who are either homeless, at risk of homelessness, or face obstacles to renting on the private market. Community Home Trust hopes to begin the rental process as soon as possible.