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Wake County backs $12.6M for affordable housing in Raleigh, Wake Forest, Garner and Apex

Wake County leaders backed nine affordable-housing developments Monday — the county’s largest financial commitment to its affordable-housing efforts.

The unanimous votes means $12.6 million would be loaned to developers to add 920 affordable rental units to the market, if those projects can get tax credits from the N.C. Housing Finance Agency this fall.

Affordable-housing developers often need tax credits and local governments aid to cover the cost of subsidizing units. The $12.6 million would be repaid by the various developers over 20 to 40 years with low interest rates.

“Wake County does have a significant challenge ahead of us, but we are prepared,” said Lorena McDowell, the county’s first housing director. “We are growing, and our efforts will grow along with us.”

The county funded 440 units last year, but only 190 of those rooms received tax credits. County leaders hope more than half will be approved this year.

“And if we only get half, that is still great,” McDowell said. “And then whatever is left goes right back into our coffers. Then we will take it and find another way to generate more units. It doesn’t go away.”

Cost-burdened households

The North Carolina Housing Coalition considers households cost-burdened when they spend more than 30% of their income on housing. There are nearly 100,000 cost-burdened homes in Wake County, and 41% of renters have a hard time covering their rent.

Wake County’s area median income (AMI) is $59,100 for an individual or $84,300 for a family of four. A majority of the units in the nine projects are below 60% AMI meaning one bedrooms would be offered at $877 instead of fair market rent of $949 or the $1,193 average listed on real estate website Zillow. A one bedroom rent would be $456 for someone making below the 30% area median income.

More than 80% of the rooms will be available for people who make less than 60% of Wake County’s AMI, with 15% made available for those who make less than 30%.

“The housing opportunities that have been put forth are indicative of our priorities in terms of serving the most difficult individual to serve. Those individuals that many cities and counties tend to avoid. ” said Commissioners Chair Jessica Holmes. “I am very proud of our staff for having the difficult conversation to uplift and advocate for our most vulnerable within our community. Not just the easiest to reach population.”

The Wake County Board of Commissioners voted to raise the property tax rate to generate $15 million for the county’s affordable-housing efforts including the creation of a housing department last year.

“I think the commissioners had a vision a year ago, and we are moving forward implementing that plan,” County Manager David Ellis said.

Here’s a look at the nine projects, which are spaced out across Raleigh, Wake Forest, Garner and Apex. The information is based on the county’s materials from Monday’s meeting.

Abbington Square

Location: Off of Litchford Road in Raleigh

Total Units: 82 units for all ages.

AMI Target:

30% AMI and below: 26 units

60% AMI and below: 56 units

Proposed rent: $474 to $1,315

County contribution: $1 million

Average loan per unit: $12,293

Developer: Rea Ventures, 803-788-3800

More details: The development will include a playground, community room, computer center, laundry facility and outdoor recreation area. This project has already been awarded tax credits through the N.C. Housing Financing Agency. The city of Raleigh is also considering $205,000 in loans, according to the county presentation.

Abbington Village

Location: Off of Forestville Road in Raleigh

Total Units: 85 units for all ages.

AMI Target:

30% AMI and below: 27 units

60% AMI and below: 58 units

Proposed rent: $474 to $1,315

County contribution: $880,000

Average loan per unit: $10,353

Developer: Rea Ventures, 803-788-3800

More details: The development will include a playground, community room, computer center, laundry facility and outdoor recreation area. This project has already been awarded tax credits through the N.C. Housing Financing Agency. The city of Raleigh is also considering $603,000 for the project, according to the county website.

Broadstone Walk

Location: Off of Apex Peakway in Apex.

Total Units: 72 units for all ages.

AMI Target:

30% AMI and below: 18 units

50% AMI and below: 10 units

60% AMI and below: 44 units

Proposed rent: $465 to $1,223

County contribution: $1 million

Average loan per unit: $14,500

Developer: DHIC, 919-832-4345

More details: This would be the first phase in a two-phase project. The second part could have 72 to 80 bedrooms for seniors, per DHIC’s website.

Crenshaw Trace

Location: Off of Durham Road in Wake Forest.

Total Units: 68 units for people over the age of 55

AMI Target:

30% AMI and below: 20 units

50% AMI and below: 11 units

60% AMI and below: 14 units

80% AMI and below: 23 units

Proposed rent: $467 to $1,086

County contribution: $731,000

Average loan per unit: $10,750

Developer: Taft-Mills Group, 252-752-7101

More Details: The company also manages the Wakefield Commons development in Raleigh and construction is underway at Quarry Trace and Walnut Trace, both in Raleigh.

Hampton Spring

Location: Off of Buck Jones Road in Raleigh.

Total Units: 56 units for people ages 55 and older.

AMI Target:

30% AMI and below: 14 units

40% AMI and below: 4 units

50% AMI and below: 8 units

60% AMI and below:30 units

Proposed rent: $461 to $849

County contribution: $400,000

Average loan per unit: $7,143

Developer: Evergreen Construction, 919-848-2041

More details: Evergreen Construction Company has multiple family and senior rental properties in Raleigh, Wendell, Cary, Garner, Fuquay-Varina, Zebulon, Wake Forest and Knightdale.

Pennington Grove II

Location: Off of Heather Park Drive in Garner.

Total Units: 69 units for people ages 55 and above.

AMI Target:

30% AMI and below: 18 units

50% AMI and below: 17 units

60% AMI and below: 34 units

Proposed rent: $467 to $965

County contribution: $700,000

Average loan per unit: $10,145

Developer: DHIC, 919-832-4345

More details: DHIC already has an 83-unit apartment complex for people ages 55 and above. This would be the second part of that project.

Pine Ridge

Location: Off of Fayetteville Road in Garner.

Total Units: 92 units for all ages.

AMI Breakdown:

30% AMI and below: 18 units

40% AMI and below: 12 units

50% AMI and below: 7 units

60% AMI and below: 35 units

Proposed rent: $453 to $1,034

County contribution: $1.2 million

Average loan per unit: $17,083

Developer: Evergreen Construction, 919-848-2041

More details: Evergreen Construction Company has multiple family and senior rental properities in Raleigh, Wendell, Cary, Garner, Fuquay-Varina, Zebulon, Wake Forest and Knightdale.

The Sussex

Location: North Rogers Lane in Raleigh

Total Units: 216 units for all ages.

AMI Target:

50% AMI and below: 72 units

60% AMI and below: 72 units

70% AMI and below: 72 units

Proposed rent: $732 to $1,447

County contribution: $3 million

Average loan per unit: $13,889

Developer: Volunteers of America, 703-341-5000, and Cadence Development, 919-661-7722

More details: n/a

Toulon Place

Location: Off Sawyer Court near the intersection of Garner Road and Bragg Street in Raleigh.

Total Units: 200 units for all ages.

AMI Target:

40% AMI and below: 11 units

50% AMI and below: 31 units

60% AMI and below: 109 units

70% AMI and below: 49 units

Proposed rent: $515 to $1,200

County contribution: $3.59 million

Average loan per unit: $17,961

Developer: Solstice Partners, n/a

More Details: The city of Raleigh is also considering a $1.4 million loan, a $600,000 re-location loan and $3 million carried over from Brown Birch.

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