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Status Indicator: In Progress | On Hold | Complete/Ongoing

Initiative: 3.23 Conduct affordable housing research

Connected, Engaged, & Inclusive Communities


Conducting affordable housing research is a new initiative for the Community Development Department. We recognize the importance of investigating the current housing needs of the community so we can make informed decisions about the programs we fund. The projects we will pursue in this initiative include: 1) conducting a Housing Market Analysis Study, 2) creating a new 5-Year Comprehensive Housing Strategy and 5-Year Consolidated Plan, and 3) developing Public Facing Spatial Maps and Dashboards.

Key Measures & Data Analysis

  • Each year, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) receives custom tabulations of American Community Survey (ACS) data from the U.S. Census Bureau. These data sets, known as the "CHAS" data (Comprehensive Housing Affordability Strategy), demonstrate the extent of housing problems and housing needs, particularly for low income households. On September 5, 2023, HUD released updated CHAS data based on 2016-2020 ACS 5-year estimates. 
  • The chart depicts housing cost burden for City of Durham residents. Cost burden is the ratio of housing costs to household income. For renters, housing cost is gross rent (contract rent plus utilities). For owners, housing cost is "select monthly owner costs", which includes mortgage payment, utilities, association fees, insurance, and real estate taxes.
  • The CHAS data are used by entitlement jurisdictions, like the City of Durham, to plan how to spend HUD funds.
  • Through initiative 3.23 Conduct affordable housing research, we will obtain updated data sets like the CHAS and use the information to make informed decisions about how we invest in affordable housing projects.

Housing Cost Burden by Household

Why is it important?

Research is essential in advancing relevant affordable housing programs and fostering creative solutions to address the complex housing crisis. We will use the information obtained through our research projects to inform programmatic decisions and priorities.

What have we been doing?

We have been identifying and defining the affordable housing research projects the Community Development Department will be pursuing. We anticipate work towards this initiative will begin in 2024.

What's next?

Through this initiative, we are focusing on the following projects:

1) Housing Market Analysis Study

  • We will release a Request for Proposals (RFP) in the Spring of 2024 for a vendor to complete a comprehensive analysis of our local housing market. The scope of the study will include, but is not limited to, identifying housing stock characteristics (i.e. type of housing, age, value, second home); detailing market characteristics (i.e. vacancy rates, housing cost burdens); outlining demographic trends that influence housing (i.e. population growth); exploring commuting patterns and existing broadband infrastructure; and developing recommendations for future housing initiatives and programs.
  • A study of this type does not currently exist. Data surrounding our housing market is disaggregated and, in some instances, outdated. This study will synthesize all of this important information into one easily accessible document. We will use the information from the study to inform our next 5-Year Comprehensive Housing Strategy and 5-Year Consolidated Plan. 

2) Create Next 5-Year Comprehensive Housing Strategy and 5-Year Consolidated Plan

  • As the Forever Home, Durham multi-year plan comes to an end, we will begin to develop our next 5-Year Comprehensive Housing Strategy. This Strategy will align with our 5-Year Consolidated Plan that must be submitted to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to maintain our designation as an entitlement jurisdiction.
  • In the Summer of 2024, we will release a Request for Proposals (RFP) for a vendor to assist the Department in developing our Consolidated Plan. The Plan will take effect July 1, 2025.

3) Public Facing Spatial Maps and Dashboards

  • Once we have completed the Housing Market Analysis Study, 5-Year Comprehensive Housing Strategy and 5-Year Consolidated Plan, we will consolidate all the information from these documents into a user-friendly dashboard that will be accessible to the public through the Department's website. Spatial maps will be created to visualize the data contained within the Study.
  • This project will begin in the Spring of 2025.

Budget and Management Services Department
Office of Performance and Innovation
Strategy and Performance Division