$160k home ‘needle in haystack’ Durham woman says of affordable housing

Durham County News

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – People in Durham say finding affordable housing is a problem. 

Tarisha Burton washes dishes and packs up, preparing to move in a few weeks with her 17-year-old child.  

The only problem is they don’t have anywhere to go.  

“If I don’t have a place to go I can possibly lose my voucher,” said Burton.  

The bank gave Burton a $160,000 loan based off her income.

She spent months looking to buy a home.

“It’s like next to impossible to find anything,” she said. “It’s like finding a needle in a haystack.” 

Durham Mayor Steve Schewel wants a $95-million bond referendum to go towards the city’s affordable housing issue.

That money will go to helping families in need find permanent housing.

“It will be very difficult in this market to find property at that price within the city limits,” said Tom Colley, the president of Durham Regional Association of Realtors. He said it’s a problem he sees often.  

“It doesn’t make any sense for a two-bedroom and two-bath to go over $200,000,” said Burton.  

With Section 8 housing, the home must be in the city limits and ready to move in. 

If she finds a home for that price, Burton said the next step is making sure sellers will sell to Section 8 buyers.  

She also has to be the highest bidder.  

“There are challenges all over the landscape for $160,000 for that price range,” Colley said. 

“I know it is not just me going through this,” Burton said. “I’m sure they’re other people behind me who are going through this problem.” 

Burton tells CBS 17 she has asked her landlord for an extension during this home search.  

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