October 15, 2020

Early voting is now open, and one of the most important votes you will cast is listed last on your ballot.

After significant public input, the Raleigh City Council in June approved an $80 million Housing Affordability Bond, with the goal of providing more housing choices and affordable options for our residents. The bond will invest $28 million in public-private partnerships to provide permanent housing for the chronically homeless and very low-income individuals. It will also provide $24 million in gap financing to support the construction of mixed-income communities throughout our city. We will also make a significant investment in land acquisition along transit corridors to ensure that affordable housing is built in the future. Another $6 million will be set aside to help low-income seniors and disabled residents with home rehabilitation, easing the stress of gentrification. And another $6 million will be allocated to our down payment assistance program, giving residents earning below 80 percent of the average median income an opportunity to purchase a home.

This year has not been what any of us expected it to be. We have faced unprecedented challenges amid an economic downturn and global pandemic that will be with us for the foreseeable future. But these challenges only make expanding access to housing even more urgent. Lower-income and chronically homeless residents are most at risk in our current recession. And over the long term, Raleigh will continue to grow at an exponential rate as families move here to take advantage of our quality of life. This affordable housing bond tackles these issues, increases our housing supply and will provide stable housing to those in need.   

As INDY Week noted in its endorsement of the housing bond, a significant investment in affordable housing is long overdue. Now more than ever, we need to focus on helping people and make space for our neighbors to live. That’s exactly what this bond does, and what the City Council promised to do when we ran on a platform of housing affordability. Doing nothing is not an option.

If you haven’t already, make a plan to vote. Not just for the affordable housing bond, but for every single race on the ballot. This is the most important election in our lifetimes. Please make sure your voice counts. And VOTE YES to support our neighbors in need.