All posts in category Housing

Office-retail only

Ellie Kinnaird’s voice was drowned out during her final years in the N.C. Senate by affluent colleagues who, having reached a high level of creature comfort, put in place policies that closed off that path to others. After several years of advocating for laws that made life better for residents in all socio-economic classes, Kinnaird […]

Hometown brand

Driving home from Raleigh one spring night with my car windows rolled down, I stopped at a traffic light. A car pulled up beside me, and the driver hollered out, “You must be going to Chapel Hill. I can tell by your bumper stickers.” Chapel Hill used to be known as an enclave for liberals: […]

Public-private = win-win

Chapel Hill needs a Stuyvesant Town, a large-scale complex of safe, well-built, no-frills apartments with rents affordable to your average working stiff. For some years during my New York days I lived in Stuy Town, an 11,000-unit complex built on 80 acres of what used to house leaky gas storage tanks and businesses and apartments […]

Plans vs. promises

At its March 10 meeting, Town Council passed an Affordable Rental Housing Strategy that was such a foregone conclusion it should have been on the Consent Agenda. But without the fanfare of a staff-narrated PowerPoint and a time for public comment, council members and town staff would have been deprived of a feel-good moment. And […]

Senior special

A concept plan for a dense subdivision on the agenda at last week’s council meeting drew not a single resident to protest. Maybe this developer knew to schedule his presentation at the exact same time as a UNC men’s basketball game, or maybe this developer offered something that many of us have been waiting years […]

Tenant cap could tap down rents

UNC student Kylee Wooten has the proper mindset to succeed as a first-year associate in a big-city law firm: a willing slave mentality that all but welcomes abuse. I gleaned this from an essay she wrote pleading for the town to raise the occupancy cap on the number of unrelated people who can live together […]

We did what this year?

What a ride 2013 turned out to be. Yet despite the ups and downs, we moved forward. We began the year with Town Council members choosing Sally Greene over 10 other well-qualified and diverse candidates to fill the seat Penny Rich vacated a couple months before. In the November election this year, Greene was elected […]

Buybacks

Tell me I’m not the only person to have donated something to the PTA Thrift Shop, then a month later bought it back. Town Council members know the feeling. They are asked to give away affordable housing as they vote to approve redevelopment projects, then scrounge for town resources to buy affordable housing somewhere else […]

Price tag on the gift

Head and heart – they can coexist. We desperately want them to in Town Council members. At a council work session last week, DHIC, a housing nonprofit in Raleigh, proposed building 140 apartments – 60 reserved for senior citizens and 80 for low-income families – on 10 acres of what is now part of Chapel […]

Small town, big money

The Age of Private Equity Transactions has arrived in Chapel Hill. Private equity transactions are nothing new; they got a lot of press coverage during the 2012 presidential race because Mitt Romney’s Bain Capital specialized in them and made Romney rich. This is the concept: Buy an asset with borrowed money; resell it at a […]