Opened in 1953, the historic Harriet Tubman YWCA in Durham has served as a residence for student nurses and a community hub for education, events and organizing, especially during the Civil Rights Movement. After closing in the mid-1970s the building fell into disrepair and has been inactive in the decades since.
Thanks to the commitment of Reinvestment Partners, funding from the City of Durham, and a $1 million grant from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the location at 312 Umstead Street near the Hayti district is scheduled to be renovated and converted into affordable housing. The restored building will provide housing and services for low-income residents, those who have experienced homelessness or individuals with special needs.
In addition to apartment units on all three floors, the building will include a common area as well as offices, computers and a kitchen. The renovation, which will be completed in about 18 months, will keep the building as historically preserved as possible. Rental rates will range from $350 to $650 per month as appropriate for the area median income level.
As part of the ongoing efforts of the City of Durham to develop affordable solutions for the unhoused, the Harriet Tubman YWCA project will preserve a beloved landmark and an important part of African American history in Durham.