Housing & Neighborhoods

Photo of crowd in front of Pauli Murray House

Working Alongside Our Durham Neighbors to Center
Community-Driven Priorities

We envision improving our quality of life through convening, listening, translating and connecting ideas to create practical solutions. These solutions center on high impact, long range approaches in the areas of housing, neighborhoods and cultural enrichment.

Our Work

Housing Affordability

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University-Community Partnerships

The University’s formal engagement with Durham neighborhoods began in 1996 with the creation of the Duke-Durham Neighborhood Partnership (DDNP). President Keohane established the DDNP as the university’s official vehicle for engagement with Durham. DDNP staff developed an empowerment strategy whereby local residents would identify the Partnership’s ongoing goals and priorities. The empowerment strategy coupled with collaboration through consensus continues to define and drive the goals and priorities of our work as purposeful partners in housing, neighborhoods and cultural enrichment.

Although community priorities have evolved over the years, there continues to be overlap with the initial housing and neighborhood concerns voiced in the first community listening sessions. These include housing access and quality, economic development, neighborhood preservation and off-campus student houses. Learn more about the current collaborations through the “Our Work” section above or “Our Programs” below.

Highlights of historical community driven projects and programs:

  • Duke contributes $2 Million loan to Self-Help to build 80 homes in Walltown to develop homeownership and wealth (1994) Over the years, this loan fund has grown to 10M and been used to support zero interest loans in commercial corridors.
  • Duke and development partners renovate 140 units of affordable housing in Southwest Central Durham with the Quality of Life Project (QoL), a neighborhood improvement coalition of six West End neighborhoods. (2001) QOL continues to meet.
  • Lyon Park Elementary School converted to a community center, Community Family Life and Recreation Center, with city bonds and support from the Duke Endowment (2002)
  • Pauli Murray House is named a National Historic Landmark (2015)
  • Duke invests $500K in Repair Fund available to Habitat for Humanity and Durham Community Land Trustees homeowners (2018)

“Fancy words such as “community development, crime reduction, affordable housing, and neighborhood stabilization” — as important as they are — sound empty until we associate them with real people, until we look each other in the eye and say,

‘I’m glad you’re here; I’m glad we’re here together.’ “

President Keohane, 2000

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