RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Day in and day out, Rev. Javier Almendárez-Bautista with St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Cary and ONE Wake member, sees the struggles firsthand.
“People call churches and non-profits when they have nowhere else to turn. To find somebody to help with their bills are late and their rent is past due,” Almendárez-Bautista said.
However, the problem that continues to come up is affordable housing.
“We knew that housing was an issue before the pandemic started,” stated Almendárez-Bautista
“In the last year alone, we have distributed I think over 10 times the amount we distributed in 2019 and the year isn’t over yet,” he mentioned.
To put this into context, recent data from the North Carolina Housing Coalition states that in order to afford a modest two-bedroom apartment in Wake County, which is $1,026 a month, a family needs to earn $41,040 a year.
However, the average renter can only afford $856 a month.
Monday, Wake County Commissioners voted to establish an affordable housing advisory committee.
“So, I think this is absolutely perfect timing,” mentioned Commissioner Vickie Adamson.
The 16-person committee made up of people from all facets, aims to help bring resources to the county, provide feedback and remove barriers when it comes to development.
“I would want to see a committee that represents the people struggling with these issues. I would want to see a committee that has people on it that are on the frontlines,” Almendárez-Bautista said.
Wake County is looking for volunteers from across the county representing a wide variety of community organizations and perspectives. It will include members from these industries:
- Affordable housing developers,
- Behavioral health system,
- Local university or college,
- Community advocate with knowledge of housing issues,
- Economic development,
- Faith community,
- Local banking or credit union,
- Hospital systems,
- Health and human services,
- Law enforcement,
- Community members with low-income lived experience,
- NC-507 Continuum of Care,
- Property management,
- Wake County Public School System
Applications will be accepted until Dec. 10. Click here, to apply.