We are finally making some real progress on affordable housing but there is so much to do - here are some of the priorities I will focus on as Mayor: We must double our local expenditure on affordable housing this year from $2.75 million to $5.5 million. We must support the redevelopment of the aging Durham Housing Authority units that serve 6,000 of our most vulnerable residents. We must leverage publicly owned land downtown to build affordable units. We must support our local non-profits as they build new units and preserve the affordability of older ones. We can do all of this and much more.

What Steve has done.

  • Authored a comprehensive affordable housing strategy that has fueled and focused the community’s work.

  • Brought the Authority and the council into close cooperation on the redevelopment of the Authority’s aging housing communities.

  • Advocated for the “penny for housing” in 2011 and for the doubling of this funding source for affordable housing in the current budget. This produces $5.5 million annually for affordable housing.

  • Fought for the inclusion of Rapid Rehousing funding in the City budget to quickly rehouse homeless families and provide them with services.

  • Successfully advocated for City support of the Housing Authority’s redevelopment of Damar Court and Morreene Road public housing communities.

  • Led the effort in cooperation with Durham CAN and the surrounding neighborhoods to allocate $4 million for the Housing Authority to repurchase the 19-acre Fayette Place site for future affordable housing and jobs.

  • Advocated for City funding of $250,000 to support the Housing Authority’s housing voucher program so that all vouchers could be issued and used.

  • Annually leads a team in the Homeless Point-In-Time Count to search out, count, and offer assistance to homeless residents of Durham.

  • Forcefully advocated for the use of City land downtown for affordable housing.

  • Brought together leaders of Durham Public Schools, the State Employees Credit Union, and affordable-housing provider CASA to develop 24 units of below-market rate rental housing for new teachers.

  • Has been a leading voice for the funding of second mortgages for Habitat homeowners and the funding of Habitat land purchases.

  • Works closely with private landlords who are interested in keeping their properties affordable and in upgrading them.

  • Led advocacy for the City’s adoption of the Pro-Active Rental Inspection Program by which City inspectors have brought hundreds of properties into compliance with the housing code.

  • Worked closely with non-profits like Habitat for Humanity, CASA, Durham Community Land Trustees, Housing for New Hope, Urban Ministries of Durham, and Families Moving Forward to help them move their agendas forward, obtain City funding for their affordable housing work, and strengthen their capacity.

  • Led the effort to get funding for Durham Community Land Trustees for the rehab of nine rental units in Southside.

  • Recruited local non-profits, including Housing for New Hope, to fill the breach and help residents get re-housed when the Lincoln Apartments went bankrupt and started evicting their tenants.