I want to restore single family zoning. I believe that we should use proven evidence-based approaches to increase our stock of affordable housing. Diversity of income levels needs to be supported in our community with a full spectrum of affordable housing. Our school teachers, police officers, firefighters, and town employees should be able to live where they work. People of all income levels should be able to benefit from our excellent school system. More affordable housing will help make Chapel Hill into a place for all of us.
Chapel Hill wants affordable housing, but has limited land on which to build. Some ideas of how to increase affordable housing units include:
Partner with UNC and UNC Health to develop affordable housing for their employees and get a certain percentage of those units for other Chapel Hill residents.
Maintain our supply of affordable housing. We don't want to see lower-cost housing re-developed into luxury apartment buildings.
Use town-owned land for lower income housing.
Tweak or remove the Form Based Code (FBC) in the Blue Hill District to require affordable housing.
Redevelop some of our public housing units. Chapel Hill's 336 public housing units are distributed over 13 properties which are built with very low density and an aging infrastructure. We could redevelop some of them with more density to increase our housing units and put mixed use development in those areas to increase business and make it easier for these residents to shop.
Negotiate with developers for affordable housing units. Right now, the Blue Hill district has many luxury apartments under construction with no low income housing units available. State law prohibits Chapel Hill's inclusionary zoning ordinance from applying to rentals. This negotiation can also take place for any owner-occupied housing built.
Consider increasing affordable housing in downtown from 10% to 15% of new residential units being built, as it is in other parts of Chapel Hill.
Our town has been reacting to urgent needs rather than following a long-term strategy. When creating more housing, we need to take infrastructure into consideration, such as traffic and storm water management. There is no evidence that removing single family zoning will give us affordable housing. Eliminating it can potentially make the new housing into expensive student rentals, change the cohesive character of neighborhoods. It also disproportionately affects neighborhoods closer to UNC and more moderately-priced neighborhoods. This policy that can't be applied fairly throughout town will not give the town what it needs - more affordable housing.
My view on single-family zoning
The growth of UNC adds to the Town's challenges. We need to partner with them.
Affordable Housing Strategies