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When is Affordable Housing Successful?

If you’ve had a chance to read the Agency’s 2018 Investment and Impact: Housing Drives North Carolina, you’ve seen that it was a great year for our work. Highlights include nearly $1 billion in affordable mortgages and the award of a record amount of tax-exempt bond volume that doubled the number of 2018 Housing Credit apartments. Overall, the Agency financed more than $2 billion in real estate activity, a 50 percent increase in the last three years and a surge of nearly 100 percent since 2014.

While these numbers speak to a successful year for affordable housing development in North Carolina, they don’t tell the whole story. To truly define success in our work and promote its value to legislators and policymakers, we have to go beyond the numbers of bricks and mortar to outcomes and impact. It is time to move the conversation from “housing matters” to why and how housing matters.

Housing Drives North Carolina does just that with an expanded, interactive website that augments our data with tangible impacts on individuals and families across the state. This ties into the growing interest in housing as a social determinant of health and how it intersects with education, transportation, employment and health care. Affordable housing investments are not just about putting a roof over someone’s head.  These investments encompass all the ways that roof supports jobs, local communities and improved lives for the family who lives beneath it.

The Housing Drives North Carolina website pairs our numbers with research studies, benefit reports and impact assessments that illustrate how housing drives the economy, communities, health care and education outcomes. You’ll read stories about communities that saw crime rates drop after affordable housing investments increased and be linked to research that shows the positive impact of these investments on surrounding neighborhoods.

Research shared on the site shows that children who grow up in housing their families can afford have better access to high-quality education and higher achievement in school. In addition, people in stable, affordable housing are more likely to have the financial resources to meet health needs and access primary care. Housing Drives North Carolina features these real-life impacts. You’ll learn about a woman who was able to keep her kids in their school thanks to foreclosure prevention help and a group of low-income seniors aging in place in a unique Housing Credit development that offers health care access and services.

Our hope is that this comprehensive overview of housing investments, accomplishments, outcomes and impacts will provide you with valuable tools to change the affordable housing narrative from discussing need to taking action in your community.  Learn more about the impact of affordable housing investments on health, education, communities and the economy at 2018.HousingBuildsNC.com.