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Local Employers Call on Council to support “Housing Choices for a Complete Community”

Local Employers Call on Council to support “Housing Choices for a Complete Community”

The following message was sent from The Chamber President and CEO, Aaron Nelson, to the Chapel Hill Town Council on Wednesday afternoon, January 25, 2023, in advance of a hearing on "Housing Choices for a Complete Community" happening that evening. 

Dear Mayor and Council,

On behalf of The Chamber for a Greater Chapel Hill-Carrboro, representing hundreds of local employers that employ tens of thousands of workers, it is my pleasure to share our support for the proposed housing text amendments as a strategy to help build a more complete community.

As you know, attracting and retaining workers is a real challenge for local employers, made more difficult by a shortage of diverse local housing options, especially in the ‘missing middle.’

Workers today, including firefighters, teachers, and nurses, want to live and work in their community. Measures that diversify available housing types and increase housing supply make it easier for employers to recruit and retain talent, which in turn makes our employers more competitive, our community more diverse, and our economy more vibrant and sustainable.

The Big Bold Ideas Committee on Affordable Housing identified several strategies to increase housing affordability and address housing gaps, including “making affordable housing easier to build” with recommendations to modify standards related to minimum lot widths, parking and setbacks to increase the number of units per acre; and “increasing availability of affordable housing” with a recommendation to permit duplexes, triplexes, and accessory dwelling units in all residential zones, excluding NCDs.

Chapel Hill has a long way to go to properly address the housing gaps that were created over the last several decades, but these text amendments are important early steps towards creating a more complete and inclusive community.

We applaud staff for the thoughtful proposal and encourage the Town Council to adopt these changes.

In Partnership,



Chapel Hill Interim Manager Chris Blue

Chapel Hill Director of Affordable Housing and Community Connections Sarah Vinas 

Chamber Chair Lori Doherty

Chamber Vice Chair Dan Lehman

Chamber Vice Chair for Government Affairs Betsy Harris

Chamber Immediate Past Chair Vakesia Graves

Chair of the Big Bold Ideas Steering Committee Creighton Blackwell

Vice Chair of the Big Bold Ideas Steering Committee Reagan Greene

Chair of the Big Bold Ideas Committee on Affordable Housing Jennifer Player

President of the Home Builders Association of Durham, Orange, and Chatham Counties Holly Fraccaro

Chamber Vice President for Community, Economic, and Workforce Development Katie Loovis

Chamber Director of Communications and Business Development Aury St. Germain

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