Notes from Greensboro Housing Summit

The Greensboro Housing Coalition hosted it’s annual housing summit today and here are some interesting tidbits that might be of interest to our members:

  • Greensboro Mayor Nancy Vaughan provided an opening address and mentioned that the city council is planning to get an affordable housing bond on the ballot this November.
  • Walker Sanders of The Community Foundation announced that they are going to partner with the city to raise funds to address housing affordability, and the goal is to raise more than they did for the Steven Tanger Center for the Performing Arts. That means they’re trying to raise something north of $80 million.
  • Beth Benton, code compliance manager for the city of Greensboro, outlined the changes that had been made to the Greensboro Minimum Housing Commission’s operations. One is that they have started issuing “Orders to Repair” in addition to “Orders to Demolish.” That allows the city to make necessary repairs if the property owner is unable, and then the property owner pays them back over time. One criteria they use when determining whether to repair or demolish is that the repair must cost less than 50% of the tax value of the property.
  • Benton also mentioned that two years ago a developer asked her for a list of properties that had orders to demolish pending. Since then over 80 investors/developers have been added to the list she sends the monthly report to and as a result over 60 houses have been purchased and repaired in the last two years.
  • Stephen Sills of the UNCG Center for Housing and Community Studies shared some very interesting data his team has compiled related to poverty, housing affordability and the like. I’m going to try and get a copy to share on a future post.

The summit was an interesting and informative experience and well worth the time for anyone who is involved in housing in Greensboro.

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