September 7, 2021
The Raleigh City Council is working hard to keep Raleigh moving in the right direction. Here is some recent progress we've made on key issues that will boost Raleigh’s economic recovery and promote affordable housing and transit options.
- Raleigh embraces Biden-Harris Build Back Better agenda for housing affordability. The White House recently released a white paper outlining steps local governments should take to encourage more affordable housing and increase supply. The City Council has already taken action on many of these steps, including eliminating exclusionary zoning laws and parking minimum requirements, as well as allowing accessory dwelling units by right. You can read more about our progress on housing affordability here.
- City Council extended popular outdoor seating accommodations. Bars and restaurants will be able to continue to operate on sidewalks and in parklets/pedlets, a program started in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to its popularity, the council is exploring making this a permanent change, even after the pandemic subsides.
- Small business grant program saw huge success. Small businesses are vital to our community and Raleigh continues to make sure they are supported. In fiscal year 2021, Raleigh's Building Up-Fit grant awarded 28 grants totaling almost $630,000. 57% of the grants went to minority-owned businesses.
- City Council focuses on affordable housing and transit to allocate American Rescue Plan funding. Last March, the City of Raleigh was awarded $73.2 million dollars that must be spent by December 2026. Phase 1 of that spending is already underway. Phase 2 will do even more to meet the community’s recovery and associated economic impacts of the pandemic. Five focus areas have been targeted for relief - economic recovery, housing/homelessness, community health, infrastructure, and transit.
- The City Council authorized staff to draft zoning changes to bring back corner stores. Good and services need to be closer to where people live. Corner stores will reduce car dependency and help address food deserts. Be on the lookout for opportunities for public input where you will be able to help shape this policy.