RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Construction is getting underway in Raleigh for a new affordable apartment complex south of downtown.

The Summit at Sawyer will go up on Sawyer Road with a plan to hold 154 affordable units.

“Sawyer Road has historically been a very challenged street. It was considered one of the worst streets in the city of Raleigh,” Phillip Walker, senior pastor at Mt. Pleasant Worship and Outreach Center, told CBS 17.

But one dig a time, Walker hopes to change that. His church is leading the way in the building of The Summit at Sawyer.

“It’s going to be transformative to our neighborhood and to the city, Raleigh as well,” he said.

Just down the street. Walker said work will begin on another complex holding 200 units

Walker said The Summit at Sawyer project is funded in part by $3 million provided by the city and tax credits.

“A lot of churches are not involved in doing tax credits, but tax credits is the absolute way to be very transformative with the community because you can provide those wrap-around services once you have once you have got the affordable housing,” said Walker.

Both projects move the city closer to its goal of 5,700 affordable units by 2026. They’re a little more than halfway there at 3,028 units so far.

The annual goal is 570 affordable units a year but the city has missed its annual housing goal for the last three fiscal years.

“We are working as hard as we can. It takes partners,” said Mayor Mary-Anne Baldwin who was present at the groundbreaking for the new project.

Even with partnerships, the city is facing challenges that are out of its hands like the increased cost to build.

“Part of what’s happened is inflation and the cost of construction rising. That has set back some of the communities that were being built,” Baldwin said.

She’s hoping for changes at the federal level to support housing efforts, increased revenue from the affordable housing bond which generates about $7 million a year. Baldwin says partnerships with organizations like Mt. Pleasant remain key in reaching their goal.

The estimated completion for The Summit at Sawyer Project is Fall 2024. The property management’s website lists rent for a one-bedroom apartment as low as $653 and a two-bedroom unit for as low as $777.

“It’s a drop in the bucket with the housing insecurity in need in the city, really but it is substantial for this area,” said Walker.