Skip to content

Policy Update 2-19-20

Pamela Atwood, Director of Housing Policy

Around the State

McDougald Terrace Residents Begin Returning Home
Last Friday, families from the McDougald Terrace public housing complex in Durham, began returning to their homes after being relocated for several weeks due to carbon monoxide exposure and unsafe living conditions. Durham Housing Authority has been in the process of conducting inspections, completing long awaited repairs, and installing new appliances. Eight units passed inspections last week, allowing the eight households residing in those units to be able to return home.

McDougald Terrace residents were evacuated to local hotels starting in early January. Another group of residents is expected to return home later this week. Hundreds remain evacuated until further notice.

Housing Discrimination Discovered in Charlotte
The National Community Reinvestment Coalition last week shared the results of fair housing testing conducted by their teams around the country in 2019, including testing done in Charlotte. Fair housing testers go into the field to determine whether housing providers are following civil rights laws against housing discriminination. The NCRC team found a housing provider providing preferential treatment to an able-bodied person over a disabled person. The situation was investigated by the City of Charlotte and now heads towards a public hearing.

Proposed Chatham County Sales Tax Increase Would Provide Funds for Affordable Housing
Chatham County voters are being asked to consider implementing a quarter cent sales tax increase on the March 3rd ballot. The state gives counties the option to collect an additional quarter cent tax on retail sales other than unprepared food and gasoline. Counties that elect to pursue the option are not required to outline how they will utilize the additional revenue. However, Chatham County, has outlined four key issue areas that the new funds would be used for, including affordable housing. The other areas are education, parks and recreation, and agricultural preservation. The affordable housing portion would be added to the county’s housing trust fund increasing their ability to provide gap financing and rehab support.

Hurricane Florence CDBG-DR Draft Action Plan Released
The North Carolina Office of Recovery and Resiliency (NCORR) released the draft action plan on how CDBG-Disaster Recovery funds will be utilized to address impacts from 2018’s Hurricane Florence. North Carolina is slated to receive over $542 million in CDBG-DR funds to aid in Florence recovery. Funds must be used in areas determined by HUD to be “Most Impacted & Distressed” (MID). For Florence those areas are: Brunswick County, Carteret County, Columbus County, Craven County, Duplin County, Jones County, New Hanover County, Onslow County, Pender County, Robeson County, Zip Code 28433 (Clarkton, Bladen County), Zip Code 28352 (Laurinburg, Scotland County), Zip Code 28390 (Spring Lake, Cumberland County), and Zip Code 28571 (Oriental, Pamlico County).

The draft action plan includes funding for the following:

  • $325 milion for homeowner recovery
  • $108 million for affordable housing development, small rental repair, homeownership assistance & public housing
  • $32 million for buyouts

The complete action plan can be read here. Comments are due March 8th at 5 p.m. and can be submitted by e-mail to or by mail to: ReBuild NC, Attn: Florence Comments, P.O. Box 110465, Durham, NC 27709


Mayor Pete Buttigieg Releases Housing Policy Platform
On Monday, presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, former mayor of South Bend, Indiana,  released his slate of housing policy proposals. Buttigieg’s “Plan for Housing Justice in America” increases the supply of accessible & affordable housing by 2 million units by investing $154 billion into the National Housing Trust Fund over 10 years. Additionally the plan would expand Low-Income Housing Tax Credit authority by 50 percent, invest $50 towards public housing rehabilitation, and provide $4 billion in matching funds to homeownership programs. Buttigieg has previously announced plans to address the impacts of redlining on communities of color. More about Buttigieg’s housing policy outlook, and that of other presidential candidates can be found on the Our Homes, Our Votes website.

TOD Bill Introduced in House
Rep. Mark DeSaulnier (D-Cali.-11) has introduced a bill to support affordable housing and community development projects near transit. The bill, the Equitable Transit Oriented Development Support Act (H.R. 5783), would authorize a program that would allow selected certified community development financial institutions (CDFIs) to access the Department of Transportation’s Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act’s (TIFIA) debt capital to support equitable transit oriented development (eTOD) projects. Under the legislation, a CDFI could request up to $100 million to help finance eTOD projects, such as affordable housing, community facilities and small businesses. CDFIs are leaders in this type of financing nationally, although there is no federal program directly supporting these projects. This bill would provide needed resources to help further CDFI assistance for eTOD financing opportunities across the country.

Comments on CRA Reform Needed
As a reminder, comments from housing and community development practitioners regarding the proposed CRA reforms are being requested. There is still time to submit comments by the March 9th deadline. Go here to submit comments electronically.


HUD Office for Policy Development & Research“Potential Impact of Credit Reporting”

Urban Institute“We Can End Homelessness Through Housing First Interventions” (blog)

UNC Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise – Monopolies and the Changing Geography of Wealth”

Recommended read

Housing Call Notes 2-18-20

Many thanks to our sponsors