Affordable Housing

“The task is monumental…however, brick by brick and heart to heart, we can build a better future.” Maya Angelou


Stable and affordable housing matters in Durham. The data is clear- poverty and the absence of affordable housing render many people homeless and housing insecure –so we must strive to keep the beauty of Durham’s diversity and not lose it to exclusion of the growth of downtown. We must preserve the option for people to remain in their home neighborhoods and not be priced out by new development. We must act today to prepare the affordable housing for the future. Durham has a unique opportunity to learn from lessons passed and make affordable housing a priority as well as new home ownership an option. However, we cannot and should not do it alone. With the Housing Authority as the lead and responsible agent, joint by the number of housing organizations, churches and residents we have an opportunity to do more to meet the needs. Now is the time to make Durham a great place to live for all citizens by taking the bold step to provide the land, resources and development of quality affordable homes for rent and purchase in all communities for all people throughout the City of Durham.

  • Develop housing and economic development mandatory policies for development that promote inclusionary policies, mixed-income, and racially balanced communities.
  • Develop a housing strategy inclusive of the Housing Authority, County and City approved by the citizens.
  • Revise current strategic plans of the City to meet the immediate affordable housing shortage plans of Durham’s low-income citizens within 2 years and hold the City accountable for reaching the development goals.
  • Continue the penny tax initiative – consider strategies like a trust fund to leverage/generate additional revenues.
  • Implement policy for public land use along transit lines to incorporate affordable housing and mixed use developments.


  • For every 100 very low-income renter household, there are only 79 rental affordable units available.
  • 27,000 cost burdened households are paying over 30% of their income for housing—of these 15,000 are severely housing cost burdened, paying over 50% of their income for housing.
  • On any given night approximately 750 Durham residents are homeless.
  • Very low-income households, particularly renters concentrated in Central Durham are being displaced due to the growth, rent escalation and cost of homes.