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Durham non-profit welcomes affordable housing ideas

DURHAM, NC — As the housing crisis continues in the Triangle, cities are trying to come up with unique solutions to the problem.


What do you want to know

  • April is Fair Housing Month in Durham
  • Durham Mayor Elaine O’Neal has proposed the city buy houses that can become affordable housing
  • City council hasn’t announced next steps, but local nonprofits are backing the idea

In her State of the City address, Durham Mayor Elaine O’Neal shared a plan for the city to buy homes and sell them at affordable prices to help tackle the housing crisis.

“I ask my fellow council colleagues to be bold and consider purchasing a property that can become affordable housing for teachers, police officers, our firefighters, city workers and others across the city” , O’Neal said. “If private contractors can buy property, why can’t Durham City do the same and provide affordable housing for its residents?”

The city council is still working on a plan for this. We asked for more information and got no response. But nonprofits in the region are welcoming the idea.

Originally from Durham, Shantel Haskins is the founder of the non-profit organization Mend My Broken Pieces 2nd Chance Housing. It helps to secure resources for people who have difficulty finding housing.

Haskins founded the organization after having to return home to Durham from Raleigh during the pandemic due to financial issues.

“It’s important to impact change in the community that you come from, that you live in, that you’re a part of,” Haskins said.

The non-profit organization gives back to local shelters and organizes community outreach events. Haskins’ long-term goal is to get more funding so he can create a kind of village to provide affordable housing for people in need.

“Affordable housing is a basic human right,” Haskins said. “A wise woman once said that, and I believe her. And it affects everyone.”

Haskins has since been able to return to Raleigh. Her lease ends in August, but like many, she is dealing with the rising cost of living.

“My rent is going to go up 17%, and that’s pretty significant. I only had a few months notice, so I have to understand a few things,” Haskins said.

Rodney N.

The author Rodney N.