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Water/Sewer Extension Advances, Carrboro Business Loan Criteria Update, 2024 Business Conditions Survey

Water/Sewer Extension Advances, Carrboro Business Loan Criteria Update, 2024 Business Conditions Survey

Government Affairs Briefing - February 12, 2024

Water/Sewer Extension Advances

Last week, Carrboro Town Council approved a water/sewer service area boundary change to allow properties along a roughly one-mile stretch of 15-501 between Southern Village and the Chatham County line to access services. The service area change was petitioned for by the Chamber last June and approved by the Town of Chapel Hill in November. Based on a 2001 agreement, any changes to the water/sewer service area must be approved by five parties: Chapel Hill, Carrboro, Hillsborough, Orange County and the Orange Water & Sewer Authority (OWASA).

Thank You: Special thanks to Mayor Foushee and Councilmembers Fray, Nowell, and Posada for voting to approve the extension.

Why It Matters: It is not possible to deliver new affordable or missing middle housing units without water and sewer access. This area is well-served by transit and close to many employers, making it a perfect location for affordable housing. Most properties in the area are currently zoned for large lot single family housing.

Shout Outs: Kudos to Delores Bailey with EMPOWERment Inc., Bridget Pemberton-Smith with the Carrboro Business Alliance, Holly Fraccaro with the Homebuilders Association, and Eric Chupp with Capkov Ventures for speaking in favor of the extension at the Council meeting.

Learn More: Click here to view the water/sewer extension fact sheet for more information including FAQs.

Next Steps: The Town of Hillsborough is scheduled to vote on water/sewer extension approval at their Commission meeting later today. Email a note of support to the full Commission.

Chapel Hill LIHTC Deep Dive

At their meeting last week, the Chapel Hill Town Council was briefed on the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program. Created by Congress in 1986, the LIHTC program appropriates roughly $9 billion annually to state housing agencies to incentivize development of affordable rental housing. In the 34-years from its establishment until 2021, only five projects in Chapel Hill have received LIHTC credits. Those five projects created 260 affordable housing units. A goal in Chapel Hill’s Affordable Housing Plan and Investment Strategy is to prioritize securing at least one LIHTC project a year. They have a head start with the Trinity Court project (54 units) and the Tanyard Branch Trace project (48 units) receiving tax credit awards in 2022 and 2023 respectively.

Why It Matters: The LIHTC application process is extremely detailed, and awards are highly competitive. Applicants typically need the full support of local government and community members to get through the process successfully. Council’s understanding of the LIHTC program’s rules will help the Town better support future projects and deliver the affordable housing units our region sorely needs.

Carrboro Business Loan Criteria Update

Late last month, Carrboro Council voted unanimously to adopt new guidelines for the Town’s long-standing Business Revolving Loan Program. Established in 1986, the fund is intended to help enterprises start and grow in Town. Newly adopted changes clarify loan criteria, expand the geography and type of enterprises eligible for loans, and lower barriers to access the funds such as collateral requirements. It’s hoped that changes will lead to a more inclusive and dynamic local business community in Carrboro. See Jan 30 meeting materials packet for details.

2024 Business Conditions Survey

For nearly two decades, the Business Conditions Survey has given the Chamber critical information to advocate for local businesses. Survey results help keep a finger on the pulse of local business revenues, hiring, pricing and biggest barriers to success. We’re less than 50 responses away from our goal to get a large and diverse representative sample of our membership. Please take 5-7 minutes now and complete the 2024 Survey.

Economic Forecast Forum - Feb. 22

Make plans to join us on Thursday. Feb. 22 from 8:00-10:00 a.m. at the Lumina Theater in Southern Village for the Economic Forecast Forum featuring NC State economist Michael Walden. Event registration is complimentary for Chamber members. Don’t miss the great networking and informational opportunity. Sign up now.

Meet the Chamber's Government Affairs Committee, read the policy platform, contact your local officials, dive deeper into the issues, and contact The Chamber's Vice President for Advocacy Ian Scott for questions or concerns.

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