Homes that are safe and livable for low-income families.
- Affordable: Families shouldn’t spend more than one third of their income on living expenses. These costs can include rent, mortgage and insurance.
- Low-Income: Income is below or around 80% of Area Median Income (AMI)..
Affordable Housing Implementation Committee (AHIC):
A volunteer Committee created by the Durham City Council to advise the administration on the affordable housing investment plan, including the affordable housing bond passed by the voters of the City of Durham on November 6, 2019. The Committee is also empowered to guarantee transparency and accountability in the City’s expenditure of bond funds as well as review expenditures with a particular focus on housing construction, job training and the inclusion of minority and women contractors to ensure the City’s goals are met. Members also provide feedback and guidance on the City’s communications to the public about the progress on the implementation of the housing investment program and brief City Council every six months regarding the Committee’s activities and the affordable housing plan. Learn more about the group including the committee members.
Area Median Income (AMI):
The median income value for a location. Families with income below or around 80 percent of the AMI can typically receive affordable housing. Different programs have different levels of need to qualify. Affordable homeownership programs work with families in the 60-80 percent range. Affordable rental programs work with families below 60 percent AMI. Public housing and housing choice vendors work with very low-incomes, which is 30 percent AMI.
Income limits are released annually by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). They are used to determine whether a family qualifies for some type of housing assistance. Durham falls within the Durham-Chapel Hill Metro Area. See the HUD chart below for household size and AMI eligible income levels.
HUD Records for the Durham-Chapel Hill Metro Area Income Limits by Household Size in 2021
Community Development Department (CDD):
The Community Development Department coordinates the City’s community development and neighborhood stabilization and revitalization efforts. This includes financial empowerment and home retention, affordable housing, and homelessness services programs. The City provides these services by working with developers and community housing development organizations. Learn more about the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC).
Durham Housing Authority (DHA):
The Durham Housing Authority is a federally funded group that owns and manages public housing. DHA is not a department of the City of Durham and does not receive money from the City to run and maintain its programs. DHA is the largest affordable housing provider in Durham and owns almost all of the housing that serves extremely low-income families. It also manages 2,500 Housing Choice (Section 8) vouchers that help extremely low-income families. Learn more about DHA.
DHA Downtown and Neighborhood Plan (DDNP):
The DHA Downtown and Neighborhood Plan is a 10-year redevelopment strategy for 50 acres in central Durham. The acreage includes six DHA properties, one county-owned property and two City-owned properties. The plan hopes to maintain and deliver 2,500 housing units.
The Forever Home, Durham program will invest $58.9 million in DDNP. Currently, money will be spent for DHA’s first set of projects. These projects include JJ Henderson, 519 East Main/Liberty, Oldham, Forest Hill Heights, and an addition of residential and mixed-use units at the DHA office site and County Criminal Justice Center. Learn more about the DDNP.
Fiscal Year (FY):
The City’s fiscal year begins on July 1st and concludes on June 30th. The City uses this time period for taxing and accounting purposes.
A funding gap is the amount of money needed to build and run affordable rental or for sale homes that are not currently funded with cash, equity, or debt. The funding gaps can be covered by investments from different sources. The City of Durham is the provider of gap funding for many affordable housing construction projects.
Housing Cost-Burdened Households:
Different levels of cost burden are explained below:
- Not cost-burdened: Total housing costs represent less than 30 percent of total household income.
- Moderately cost-burdened: Total housing costs represent 31-50 percent of total household income.
- Severely cost-burdened: Total housing costs represent more than 50 percent of total household income.
Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC):
Tax credits are the most important tool for funding affordable housing nationally. The LIHTC program offers investors dollar-for-dollar reduction in their federal taxes in exchange for making investments in affordable rental housing. Investors also get tax benefits from losses. Generally, tax credits are received over the first 10 years of affordable housing operation.
In general, LIHTC is limited to rental housing that helps residents making at or below 60 percent AMI. The IRS does allow for builders to use income averaging, which can make rents go up to 80 percent AMI, as long as the average is at or below 60 percent AMI. Higher AMI units are offset by units targeting households below 60 percent AMI.
Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprise (MWBEs):
Businesses that are owned and operated primarily by women or minority group members have this label. A company must be certified by the State of North Carolina as a historically underutilized business, the N.C. Department of Transportation as a minority-owned or women-owned business or the U.S. Small Business Administration’s 8(a) Business Development Program to be called a MWBE for a City of Durham contract. Forever Home, Durham will give at least $130 million in contracts to MWBEs.
Money provided by the public sector to fill gaps in affordable housing, new constructions, and preservation projects. This money can be cash, grants, loans, or equity. It can also be cash equivalents, which can be publicly owned land, fee waivers or property tax waivers. Project subsidies are combined with private funds for new construction and preservation projects.
A form of affordable rental housing that is owned by housing authorities and funded directly by the federal government. This money is made possible by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Public housing typically helps extremely low-income residents.
Request for Proposal (RFP):
An open request for business proposals to complete a new project proposed by the company or other organization that issues it. The document typically includes specific needs, criteria, anticipated timing, etc.
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD):
HUD is a federal cabinet level agency that is responsible for national programs that help America’s housing needs, improve and develop the Nation’s communities and enforce fair housing laws.