Affordable Housing Council

Duke aims to serve as a connector and resource partner for affordable housing organizations supporting the Durham Community through the formation of the Housing Strategy Council. 

The inaugural term of members will begin February 2023. The application window is closed.


Using the Technology of Participation (ToP) Facilitation model, the Housing and Neighborhoods Unit within Duke’s Durham and Community Affairs office led a collaboration of Duke and Durham representatives to forge purposeful partnerships in housing affordability and availability for maximum community impact through the Affordable Housing Task Force. The new Affordable Housing Council continues this work but with a smaller membership focused on leveraging collective expertise and assets to increase inventory and/or access to affordable housing.

The council aims to catalyze innovation, facilitate knowledge transfer, and invest in sustainable projects that achieve measurable outcomes.

It represents collaborations across organizations and a variety of stakeholders to create equitable and innovative solutions for addressing the current housing challenges in Durham.  


17 Members Total

  • 3-5 representing local service providers (nonprofits)
  • 2-5 representing the Durham neighborhood leadership

*No more than 8 total members from local service providers and neighborhood leadership

  • 3 representing Duke or other strategic university partners
  • 3 representing business sector (for profits)
  • 3 representing municipal agencies associated with housing
  • Angelique Stallings, Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce
  • Ted Heilbron, Kelley Development Company
  • Michael Rodgers, Poplar Development Company
  • Philip Azar, Neighbor, Southwest Central Durham Quality of Life Project
  • Alisa Johnson, Neighbor, Durham Neighborhoods United
  • Jane Williams, Coalition for Affordable Housing and Transit
  • Russell Pierce, Housing for New Hope
  • Tiana Joyner, Habitat for Humanity of Durham
  • Ben Justus, Self-Help Ventures Fund
  • Sherry Taylor, Durham Community Land Trustees (DCLT)
  • Anthony Scott, Durham Housing Authority
  • Kimberly A Cameron, Chair City/County Planning Commission
  • Michael Pullum, City of Durham Community Development Department
  • Elinor Landess, Duke Student Affairs/Off Campus & Community Housing
  • Allie Hargrove, Duke Graduate Student
  • Debbie Royster, Duke Population Health Management
  • Venus Myles, PNC Bank

Guiding Principles

The council will work on projects that will include the following activities: 

  1. All activities are focused on preserving, increasing inventory, and/or access to affordable housing — both affordable rentals and affordable home ownership opportunities.
  2. Reimagine and produce innovative solutions addressing affordable home ownership.   
  3. Engage and foster new innovative ideas to provide an avenue for exchange with community stakeholders and a variety of affordable housing professionals. 
  4. Cultivate leadership among council members to advance and sustain housing solutions beyond their launch. 
  5. Identify emerging trends and develop programs, services, or learning activities to support housing solutions.  
  6. Consensus based decision making is preferred in activity identification and execution. However, group decisions will not require a unanimous vote. Each organization represented on the council has one vote. Since consensus is not required, members can opt to have their dissent documented by providing written documents to the members of the housing council that will be kept on file.
  7. All work will be documented and shared for learning purposes to produce best practices for future councils  

Expected Outcomes

The council will serve as the vehicle for exploring and sharing new ideas that advance solutions for Durham’s affordable housing crisis. 


Terms are assigned to an organization and are three years in length. Organizations can re-apply but preference will be given to applications from organizations who have not had representation on the council in the last term. 

  • Orientation/training provided at the launch of each new council term. Additional council structure will be created by the group as a part of the initial orientation.
  • In the last six months of a term, the Council will complete a reflection to allow for changes to the Council’s format and guiding principles based upon their experiences 

How to Apply?

The application window is closed.

Applicants will be informed by early January. Meetings will begin in February.

Who can Apply?

Council membership should reflect the local communities that are benefitting from housing services as well as the service providers. Actionable collective work requires each organization represented to bring forward their skills and resources to move a plan to action. While Duke is bringing forward some facilitation/coordination, student engagement, and seed funding those resources on their own will not be enough to produce action. All organizations represented should be able to speak to skills and assets that can be brought forward for creative solutions. Additionally, council members should be able to hear and understand housing challenges and trends on a statewide and national level as well as challenges the university is facing internally.

All individuals based in the Triangle area are encouraged to apply.  Preference given to active participants of the Affordable Housing Strategy Task Force.

Key Priorities identified by the Affordable Housing Strategy Task Force

The Affordable Housing Strategy Task Force engaged with a collection of local affordable housing agencies, city departments, and financial institutions working together on new financial products for increasing affordable housing inventory and improving local accessibility. They completed a visioning and action planning that resulted in proposals and identified priorities. This work lays the foundation for the discussion items on the agenda of the newly established Affordable Housing Council.

Key priorities include:

Accessing More Land

Guiding Statements: Identify all potentially available publicly-owned, nonprofit and faith community-owned, and Duke-owned property that could be developed for affordable housing, including multifamily and single-family, homeownership and rental; then determine action steps toward feasibility assessment, acquisition, and development

Affordable Housing Strategy Task Force Representatives included: DHIC, Durham Community Land Trustees, Habitat for Humanity, Housing for New Hope, Self Help

Launching a Land Inventory Analysis in early 2023

Social & Capital Investments

Guiding Statement: Provide creative strategies to raise capital from non-traditional sources to develop innovative financial tools to support affordable housing

Affordable Housing Strategy Task Force Representatives included: CASA, City of Durham Duke Law Clinic, Self Help


Closing the Wealth Gap

Guiding Statement: Affordable Housing is a symptom of a larger issue of a need to increase economic opportunity for low income/wealth families. In addition to affordable housing supply, we need to work on education/training, jobs, and wealth creation through homeownership

Affordable Housing Strategy Task Force Representatives included: DCA, DHA, DHIC, Duke Chapel, Durham County, Habitat for Humanity, Self Help, Truist Bank


Have a question? Get in touch today.