“My goal is to make Raleigh an inclusive, welcoming city for all of our residents, a place where our children can afford to live, and a leader in innovative housing solutions.”
Cities throughout the country are struggling with the issue of housing affordability. In Raleigh, only single-family homes are allowed to be built in 80 percent of the city, reducing housing stock and housing choices. This is a complex issue and there is no silver bullet. But if we do ALLof the items below, we can make progress. One thing is certain – we cannot buy our way out of this crisis. We need strong policies, planning and partnerships to advance. As your mayor, I will propose the following:
- We educate, collaborate, and lead. Local elected officials must have the political will to act on the policy issues below – many of which DO NOT require the use of taxpayer dollars. And residents need to understand what’s at stake if we don’t act with urgency.
- Allow Accessory Dwelling Units by right in all residential housing districts. This would allow families to care for aging parents, house boomerang kids or rent property, building wealth. The city also benefits by increased property values.
- Encourage the construction of “missing middle” housing – townhomes, condominiums, duplexes, triplexes and quads – in residential districts. Four, 1,200 square foot condos located in one building look a lot like a larger home.
- Remove impediments to building cottage courts and tiny home communities. And while we’re at it, allow flag lots – which permit two homes on deep lots.
- Reduce minimum lot sizes and minimum parking requirements. Our current lot minimums actually encourage the construction of McMansions. And if we reduce minimum parking requirements, it will reduce the cost of housing.
- Work collaboratively with Wake County and Wake County Public Schools to identify underutilized properties that can be developed for affordable housing. Could we build a “teacher’s village” adjacent to a school? Transform an aging building into housing for homeless vets or women with children? Work with health care systems to create workforce housing?
- Upzone for density in transit corridors, especially Bus Rapid Transit corridors as well as heavy use transit and automobile corridors.
- Incentivize private developers to build workforce and TOD housing. Some ideas include land swaps, gap funding or grants, expedited approvals, a reduction in impact fees, the use of TIF financing, or the creation of municipal service districts. Let’s establish a committee of industry leaders to help define what is possible.
- Partner with land trusts to provide long-term housing affordability and assist in land banking properties for affordable housing purposes.
- Create a well-crafted affordable housing bond to support the above policies. To be effective, we must seek public input, secure partners to advocate for its passage, and conduct polling to determine a dollar amount that the public will support. (Similar to the creation of the Wake Transit Plan). Funding priorities will be established during the public input process.