Durham County News

Durham city council agrees to use police HQ for affordable housing after department moves

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) - Durham’s city council agreed to include affordable housing on four acres of land downtown.

Housing for low-income families will go at the site of Durham’s current police headquarters. The department is moving this year.

It was a unanimous city council decision during Thursday’s work session. The decision came after a protest outside city hall with the group holding up mirrors.

“It reflects our values,” said Terry Allebaugh, representative with the Coalition for Affordable Housing in Transit. “It reflects the total context of who we are when we come together.”

Allebaugh is pleased with the news.

Now administrators will create a proposal for potential developers with specific guidelines.

Affordable housing and maximizing the value of land are the top two priorities.

Several council members listened to the public’s request. 

“The public engagement piece is really, really important to get a sense of the intensity and the desire,” said Durham city council member Charlie Reece. “Events like this are really important because you get a sense of where our advocates in the community stand and also people who are directly impacted.”

Once the request for a proposal is made public, developers will have a chance to decide if they want to take on the project.

Allebaugh says he wants to make sure everyone gets a piece of the pie.

“We want to have a diversity of income folks living, and we want the prosperity that’s happening in downtown to be available for all of Durham citizens,” he said.

City administrators say the official request for proposal that includes those guidelines is expected to come around August.


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