Officials of Raleigh and Wake County are doing more to ensure that there is adequate affordable housing in communities, but Julian Castro, U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, came to Raleigh Tuesday to push for even more efforts. Affordable housing can exist alongside higher-end homes if developers are encouraged to build those types of communities. Capitol Park, a neighborhood near William Peace University that formerly was the Halifax Court public housing development, now is a mixed-income neighborhood with various amenities such as day care and open space and it’s working well.
Federal funding was used in that Raleigh Housing Authority development.
Raleigh and Wake are due a measure of credit, of course, for doing and not just saying, with Raleigh planning to build several hundred more units and Wake County forming a committee to address the issue. Credit one commissioner, Jessica Holmes, with pushing the envelope of conventional thought to suggest unused land next to schools be considered for new affordable housing.
Castro also touched on another issue of particular interest to Raleigh. The city, and the county for that matter, have big numbers of younger people — dare we say millennials — moving in for high-tech jobs and lifestyle choices, and also a growing number of retiring baby boomers who once were coming here for the same cutting-edge jobs of the time that now draw younger people. So there’s a formidable challenge, to accommodate the types of housing younger people want along with the lower-cost housing needed by baby boomers who are going to be on lower, fixed incomes.
That double-barreled task may be next up on the housing strategies of Raleigh and Wake County.