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Member Spotlight: City of Durham’s Community Development Department

In upcoming issues of Housing Matters we’ll be showcasing stories from our members that highlight the impact of funding programs for affordable housing. As you know, many of these programs have been eliminated in President Trump’s proposed budget. This week, we highlight the City of Durham’s Southside Revitalization Project.

The Southside Revitalization Project covers a 125-acre site south of downtown Durham.  The site had the highest concentration of vacant housing (28%), and lowest homeownership rate (14.3%) of any Durham neighborhood.  Durham’s tobacco and textile mills that had provided jobs in walking distance from Southside closed their doors as jobs disappeared in an expanding global economy.  Durham City government wanted to undertake a transformative project using public investment as the catalyst.  The sources of public funding included a HUD Section 108 loan, a Community Development Block Grant program development tool, HOME funding, several allocations of Low Income Housing Tax Credits that leveraged millions of dollars in private equity, local funding from Durham County and City of Durham, private lenders for development and residential mortgages, and buyer savings.  Four major components comprised the Southside Revitalization Project strategy:

  1. The Lofts Phases I and II are providing 217 mixed-income rental housing units, including 79 market-rate apartments. The balance of the rental units are for below 60% AMI households.  
  2. The Bungalows is an ownership component of the Southside Revitalization Project with 48 new-build single-family homes. More than half were sold to below 80% AMI buyers.  
  3. Piedmont Street Rentals in the center of the revitalization area became nine permanently affordable rental units for below 50% AMI households, some of which are occupied by formerly homeless veterans.
  4. The Veranda at Whitted School restored a long-vacant historic Whitted School in Southside.  This LIHTC project is a partnership of Durham County, Durham Public Schools and the City of Durham.  $600,000 in HOME dollars from the City of Durham provided the gap financing that has created 79 elderly affordable rental units, and development of the first floor into classrooms for early childhood education use.

The financing for Southside project  assumes future CDBG allocations. The loss of CDBG would devastate the project. President Trump zeroed out CDBG in his budget proposal. You can read more here.



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