Housing Affordability

We recognize that access to staying-in-place, homeownership, and financial tools are essential to the well-being of Durham residents and Duke employees. Access to a safe dwelling not only supports our health and puts us on a path to success in other areas of our lives but it is also an opportunity to support generational wealth. We are committed to continue partnering and being guided by our housing and neighborhood partners through conversations and strategy groups that encourage us to be a collective of creative organizations that support multifaceted solutions.


Community Conversation on Housing

On December 9, 2019 at Lyon Park Community Center, approximately 75 Durham community members and leaders met to discuss and think critically about Duke’s partnerships in affordable housing availability in Durham. Participants gathered for small-group round table discussions around three questions. In these discussions, several themes emerged.

What has gone well in Duke’s partnership to address housing?
  • Investments in loan-making and land-banking
  • Positive partnerships with existing projects
  • Supporting financial literacy
What could improve in partnership to address housing?
  • Improving minimum wage
  • Preventing gentrification
  • Improving public transportation
  • Expanding affordable housing geographically
  • Increasing public policy research
  • Addressing health system and homelessness
  • Remaining in place for existing residents
What new ideas are there for Duke to partner in housing in the future?
  • Improve transparency
  • Adding student and staff housing
  • Exploring Duke-owned land

An executive summary of the event is available here.

This community conversation occurred prior to the COVID-19 crisis and its impacts on affordable housing. The conversation continues through Duke’s Affordable Housing Strategy Task Force.


Affordable Housing Strategy Task Force

The task force engages 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.

This group completed a consensus workshop as a follow up to the Affordable Housing Community Conversation. They answered the following question: What key housing efforts should we focus on collectively for the next 3-5 years to increase availability of and access to affordable housing in Durham?

As a result four working groups developed to address the actionable items that the groups identified in the consensus workshop. The four working groups are focused on:

Accessing More Land

Guiding Statements: 1. Map literally and figuratively all of the holding of land that Duke has and look at it with an eye toward affordable housing. 2. Financing: Pure subsidy is needed for affordable housing. Secure funds for long term land banking

Includes Representatives from: DHIC, Durham Community Land Trustees, Habitat for Humanity, Housing for New Hope, Self Help

Targets coming June 2021

Social & Capital Investments

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

Includes Representatives from: CASA, City of Durham Duke Law Clinic, Self Help

Targets coming June 2021

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

Includes Representatives from: DCA, DHA, DHIC, Duke Chapel, Durham County, Habitat for Humanity, Self Help, Truist Bank

Targets coming June 2021

Housing & Transit

Guiding Statements: 1. Support the thoughtful integration of transit planning and affordable housing preservation and creation with an emphasis on proximity to good paying jobs, while mitigating against potential negative impacts of transit development on ownership/rental ratios; overall affordability, etc. 2. Develop a process that engages neighborhoods and small businesses that would be most directly affected by transit and affordable housing investments

Includes Representatives from: City of Durham, DCA, Duke Alumni, Duke School of Nursing, Durham Community Land Trustees, Reinvestment Partners, Triangle J Council of Government

Targets coming June 2021

The working groups are in the planning phase and will launch targeted efforts in June of 2021 to be completed by July 2022.


Have a question? Get in touch today.