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Making our voice heard: Steps to make it easier to develop affordable housing

Making our voice heard: Steps to make it easier to develop affordable housing

The following letter was sent from The Chamber Government Affairs Committee to the Chapel Hill Town Council on Wednesday, October 19, 2022 in advance of the Council's discussion of proposed text amendments to make it easier for developers to build affordable housing.  

Dear Mayor and Council,

Tonight you will have the opportunity to review some proposed amendments to the LUMO that could help deliver more affordable housing.

I write on behalf of the Chamber’s Government Affairs Committee to express our support for any and all changes that can improve efficiency (decrease time and costs) when constructing more affordable housing in our community.

As you know, The Chamber is actively involved in the Big Bold Ideas initiative. One of the three big bold ideas is to create dramatically more affordable housing.

Our diverse Big Bold Ideas Committee on Affordable Housing set an ambitious goal to “create 1,500 new affordable housing units by 2026.” Delivering on this goal will take all of us leaning in and doing our part.

The Big Bold Ideas Committee on Affordable Housing identified six specific strategies to deliver on the goal, and one of them is to “Make affordable housing easier to build.” What Town staff is proposing to you this evening is in that very spirit.

As you think about text amendments, we hope you will also consider the following tactics:

  • Projects with 50% or more units affordable will receive all legislative and quasi-judicial entitlement decisions in 3 months.
  • Meaningful density bonuses are given to affordable housing developments.
  • Revisit land use standards including but not limited to: minimum lot widths, parking, and setbacks to increase units per acre.

Thank you again – we wish you a productive conversation this evening and appreciate you considering this feedback.


Betsy Harris
Chair, Government Affairs Committee, The Chamber for a Greater Chapel Hill-Carrboro

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