Affordable Housing

Or better yet do both


As long as the business of providing housing remains profit driven, you can be assured that new apartment complexes will be geared toward the luxury market. Cost of land compels developers to maximize their rents, and putting luxury finishing touches, spaces, and services into their buildings is how you do it.
The only tool available to mitigate those land costs is to go higher and spread out the land cost per unit over more units. Unfortunately, going higher will also command higher rent dollars as people will pay for views from those higher floors. It’s quite the conundrum.


Also important to note that you could get away from the higher land costs by building further out. I think our development pattern still revolves around this model.

Well that scenario doesn’t work for Raleigh so what do you do now? Conundrum indeed.


Well, for its part, the city can stop building suburban style public housing on expensive city center land. If platforming the car is going to be a defining feature of the public housing that the city builds, then it should be building that further from the city center in a more car centric context.


So my friend lives in Grosvenor Gardens, the complex that the city purchased to “protect affordable housing” or something a while back. She said today she got a notice of rent going up 40%.


Did that actually take place, the purchase? I see CASA was actually making the purchase with the city chipping in. Maybe it never took place or it’s still in progress.

However… CASA acquires historic apartment community in downtown Raleigh to preserve as affordable housing - CASA


1 Like

Wow, I’m out of the loop but I am surprised to hear those are (were?) remotely affordable. Beautiful buildings in a prime location.

1 Like

I confirmed with her that the CASA purchase did go through at the beginning of the year. The property manager didn’t change from VG Murray and Co. It’s not clear who’s responsible for the increase yet but she said rent was already adjusted upward in January after the purchase.

She’s running it down with both of them. She suspects income-based rent changes, which really doesn’t work out for her due to extenuating circumstances. Could also be only certain units are marked for affordable housing (but she is in a studio which was historically below-market).

AFAIK there’s no legal restrictions about any of this, so asking nicely and then maybe public shaming is about all we’ve got.

Appears that enough of the residents complained to warrant them posting a new letter on people’s doors:

My friend worked at a non-profit for years and immediately pointed out that non-profits usually do run a deficit, supported by outside donations or government money.

On one hand these units were pretty well below market rates. On the other, isn’t that kind of the point? The adjustment, anecdotally from her experience, makes this place not so much better than any other option… Her small, old, non-accessible studio is now over $1k.

6 years ago I had a nicer and larger ‘luxury’ 1 bedroom for $900 on Centennial. With a washer/dryer! Of course, that’s 6 years ago.


The cost of everything in America has basically doubled over the last 5 years. Not sure why people would expect housing to be any different.


Well as wages haven’t been keeping up over the same amount of time so goes housing affordability.


It seems on reflection that this was kind of a messaging mismatch. If it’s true that the original owners were basically taking a loss to provide affordable rent, but the end had come and the property needed to be sold, then CASA is basically doing damage control with the help of the city by trying to keep the structure itself in place in hopes that it can be maintained stably in the future.

On a larger scale this is probably a win (no teardown and reconstruction, one more ‘non-luxury’ complex still exists) but for existing residents benefitting from low rent which was basically insulated from the market (somehow) it surely feels like a betrayal after the organization got praise for affordability and their rent is going up dramatically.

I feel like it highlights the duality of “affordable housing” and how much trouble we’re already in. What CASA is doing is pretty reasonably “affordable housing” in respect to trying to stay at the lower end of the market. But the market itself is unaffordable for lots of people. The only way to make rent in this area affordable for most people is to be entirely irrational and ‘unsustainable’ from the perspective of the market.


WRAL also ran an article on this last night.