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Durham, North Carolina, Promotes Equitable Growth Through Expanded Housing Choice

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August 5, 2021  

Durham, North Carolina, Promotes Equitable Growth Through Expanded Housing Choice

The In Depth section on RBC takes a closer look at innovative state and local strategies, activities, and plans to mitigate the impacts of regulations on the development of affordable housing. Each In Depth article highlights a particular plan, ordinance, or strategy in the RBC database and elaborates on aspects such as the approval process, stakeholder participation, and the progress made in reducing regulatory barriers.

The latest article in the In Depth series explores Expanding Housing Choices (EHC), an amendment approved in 2019 in Durham, North Carolina, aimed at diversifying the city and county’s housing stock. The amendment seeks to accommodate the area’s projected future growth and evolving housing needs, as demographic projections point to a younger future population. The amendment enables the construction of duplexes, townhouses, and small multifamily buildings in lower-density suburban and urban residential zoning districts; reduces restrictions on the development of accessory dwelling units; creates a mechanism for subdividing large lots; and revises other standards for simplicity and clarity. Underpinning these changes is an explicit acknowledgement that housing built more densely will help keep Durham affordable and ensure that future growth is equitable, without displacing historically marginalized communities. Finally, Durham is taking steps to monitor the effectiveness of the EHC amendment by tracking certain metrics and working with researchers to develop new metrics. Durham hopes that monitoring can help policymakers better tailor local regulations toward achieving equity and affordability goals.

Visit HUD User’s RBC In Depth page to learn more about Durham’s Expanding Housing Choices regulatory amendment and other plans and initiatives that state and local governments have enacted to reduce impediments to affordable housing.

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RBC Announcements Regulatory Barriers Research Subscribe to RBC Updates House Bill 18, concerning residential tenants access to counsel, and adding Subtitle 8-9, Access to Legal Representation in Eviction Cases, of the Maryland Real Property Code, among other amendments Ordinance 2020-16, adding Section 54-214, Accessory Dwelling Unit, and amending other sections of the Charleston Zoning Ordinance HP 725-LD 970, to encourage policies regarding accessory dwelling units, amending among others Title 30-A, Section 4326, Growth Management Elements, of the Maine Revised Statutes