Forever Home, Durham

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OverviewDemolition at 519 Main Street

Forever Home, Durham uses public and private funds to build homes, renovate properties and provide essential services for low-to-moderate income residents. These investments create jobs and economic benefits for all. Follow our progress here as we celebrate this movement in the community we love. We’re making life better for all of us in Durham, and we’ve only just begun.

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Goals for Meaningful Change

(2019-2025)

The $160 million multi-year investment in affordable housing and services for low-income Durham residents includes specific and measurable goals. The efforts to achieve these goals are funded by: 

    $95 million affordable housing bond 

    $65 million in existing City and federal funds


  1. Homes-Icon

    2,400


    Build 1,600 new affordable rental homes and preserve 800 affordable rental homes.



  1. Homeless-Icon

    1,700


    Move 1,700 unhoused individuals and families into permanent housing.



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    400


    Provide 400 affordable homeownership opportunities for low-income homebuyers.


  1. House-Icon

    3,000


    Help 3,000 low-income renters and homeowners remain in or improve their homes.



  1. Money-Icon

    $130 million


    Create at least $130M in contracting opportunities for Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (MWBEs).


Progress – Where We Stand

The data below is current as of October 2023 and reflects progress specific to the $160 million, multi-year investment in affordable housing and services for low-income Durham residents. 


"Our goal is to make Durham affordable, livable, and inclusive for everyone."

- Reginald J. Johnson, Director, Community Development Department, City of Durham


Progress Timeline

We’ll keep you updated as Forever Home, Durham creates more innovative and equitable housing opportunities. We’ll track the impact on jobs, quality of life and the local economy to show where and how the City’s investments are making a real difference for residents in need of safe, convenient and affordable housing.

APRIL 2023

The Joyce Grand Opening

Durham Housing Authority (DHA) and Laurel Street announce the grand opening of The Joyce, a mixed-income senior community that features 80 apartment units, common areas and green spaces. Located just outside downtown Durham and directly adjacent to the JJ Henderson Senior Apartments, the community will serve seniors with incomes ranging from 30% of Area Median Income (AMI) and below to 80% AMI.

NOVEMBER 2022

E Main + Liberty Street Demolition Begins

DHA and the City of Durham began the revitalization process for the former 519 East Main + Liberty Street Apartments in downtown Durham. The planned Elizabeth Street Apartments' new construction is scheduled to break ground on the site in early 2023 and will replace the buildings currently being torn down. This first phase will offer 72 family units.

OCTOBER 2022

JJ Henderson Senior Apartments Grand Re-Opening

The renovation of JJ Henderson, which offers 177 affordable rental homes for seniors or disabled community members, includes HVAC upgrades, energy-efficient appliances, improvements to interior air quality, a new roof, interior unit renovations, and building system upgrades.

SEPTEBER 2022

Willard Street Receives Top Award for Excellence in Affordable Housing

Willard Street received the Housing North Carolina Award for rental housing, awarded annually to projects that demonstrate excellence in design, sustainability, contribution to the local community and public and community support.

SEPTEMBER 2022

HUD Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Grant

Durham was selected by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to receive $40 million in Choice Neighborhoods Implementation (CNI) Grant funding. These funds will be used to support the redevelopment of DHA’s 519 E. Main Street + Liberty Street Apartments and to make investments in the surrounding neighborhood.

JULY 2022

The Joyce Topping Off Ceremony

Supported by city of Durham funding, the $18.8 million development is expected to open in spring of 2023 and will include 80 apartment units, common areas, and green spaces. The Joyce is directly adjacent to the newly renovated JJ Henderson senior development.

SEPTEMBER 2021

Willard Street Ribbon Cutting

New residents, housing advocates, project partners, and city leaders celebrated the grand opening of Willard Street Apartments. Watch a video about the impact of the Willard Street Apartments.

AUGUST 2021

Groundbreaking At JJ Henderson

Durham community partners Durham Housing Authority and Laurel Street residential development came together to mark the official groundbreaking of JJ Henderson Senior Campus new construction. The new construction four-story building will consist of 80 dwelling units designated for seniors 62 years or older at a mix of incomes, including 30%, 60%, 70% and 80% AMI.

AUGUST 2021

United Minority Contractors Of North Carolina Selected To Support Women And Minority Business Enterprises

City Council approved a 42-month $533,980 contract with UMCNC to provide outreach and support during prequalification, bid and contract processes and ensure Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprises (MWBEs) are positioned to earn contracts on affordable housing projects funded by the City.

MAY 2021

JJ Henderson Renovation Begins

Renovations began at DHA’s JJ Henderson property. At this site, 178 units will be completely rehabilitated and 80 new apartments will be constructed for low-income elderly households.

APRIL 2021

Affordable Housing Implementation Committee Holds Inaugural Meeting

Inaugural meeting of the Affordable Housing Implementation Committee was held to advise the City’s Community Development Department on implementation of the Forever Home, Durham affordable housing investment program.

MARCH 2021

Laurel Oaks Renovation Completed

Laurel Oaks consists of 30 townhouse units. Located in the southwest section of Durham, Laurel Oaks is the first public housing community built since 1981.

MARCH 2021

Willard Street Apartments Open

The 82-unit Willard Street Apartments, built on a former City-owned site, welcomed its first residents. View a photo tour of the property.

FEBRUARY 2021

The Community Development Department Releases An RFP For A Downpayment Assistance Program Administrator

The Community Development Department released a request for proposals to select an administrator for a new City-funded down payment assistance program. The program will support homebuyers with incomes below the 80% area medium income (AMI) by providing second mortgages of up to $20,000.

NOVEMBER 2019

Affordable Housing Bond Passes

The City of Durham voters voted overwhelmingly in support of the $95 million affordable housing bond, which paired with $65 million in local and federal funding creates the Forever Home, Durham program.

JULY 2019

Willard Street Groundbreaking

This new community is set to include 82 units of affordable housing serving individuals and families with low or modest incomes, bringing affordability to Durham.

MARCH 2019

Laurel Oaks Renovation Begins

Located in the southwest section of Durham, Laurel Oaks offers 30 townhome rental units. A $1.799 million investment, the rehabilitation of Durham Housing Authority (DHA) property was supported by $800,000 in city funds.


Our Partners

Affordable Housing Implementation Committee logo
Durham Housing Authority Logo (DHA)
CASA logo
CEF logo
DHIC logo
DCLT Logo
Durham County logo
Entry Point Durham logo
Families Moving Forward Logo
Habitat for Humanity of Durham Logo
Housing for New Hope Logo
Legal Aid NC logo
Project Access of Durham County logo
Reinvestment Partners logo
Self-Help Credit Union logo
Urban Ministries of Durham Logo
Volunteers of America logo