CHAPEL HILL: Town councils considers affordable housing project - WNCN: News, Weather

Chapel Hill council considers redevelopment, affordable housing

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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -

Chapel Hill Town Council is considering a proposal to stimulate development in one of the town’s oldest and largest commercial areas.

The area is at the intersection of Ephesus Church Road and US 15-501, also known as Fordham Boulevard, in the northern area of Chapel Hill.

"The Ephesus-Fordham Renewal has been in the works for a number of years, and now we are seeing many of the components come together to potentially make this the next cool place to live, work and play in Chapel Hill," said Town Manager Roger Stancil in a written release. "It's important that our residents have good information about this multi-disciplined, systemic planning opportunity."

The development proposal is seeking to revive the area into a thriving walkable district that will attract younger people. The proposal is contingent on the adoption of a new zoning model that will create growth to help fund $10 million in transportation improvements.

Council member Donna Bell said the town’s strategy is to get affordable housing town-wide, not just a single spot. Bell said it has perception of being unsafe, low quality, but people need to think about what affordable housing really means.

The proposal also includes developing affordable housing. Chapel Hill is partnering with a Raleigh nonprofit to create affordable housing on Legion Road.

Angela Thieman lives in Raleigh but works in Chapel Hill. She said having affordable housing in Chapel Hill will be fabulous for a lot of people.

“It is very difficult to find housing in Chapel Hill. It is small, but still, there’s a lot of land. It is very difficult. Very difficult. I know a lot of families, they move from A to B to C to D,” Thieman said.

The proposal seeks 84 units of affordable housing for working families and 60 units for seniors.

Construction on the housing project could start by mid-2015.

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