Penny for Housing

Video presented at Chapel Hill Town Council on May 19, 2014 in support of the penny for affordable housing.

Please click here to sign the petition in support of the penny for housing and to learn more information about the housing coalition’s efforts.

This video was produced by Jon Young (Community Empowerment Fund) and Hudson Vaughan (Jackson Center). Contact us at hudson@jacksoncenter.info or jony@communityempowermentfund.org if you have any questions or feedback.

Thanks to the support of the many families and housing agencies who have been part of this effort.

“Community report maps housing, preservation strategy” – Chapel Hill News

Published April 24, 2013
By Tammy Grubb

CHAPEL HILL – Nine months after sitting down together, Northside neighbors and community leaders have a plan to improve the neighborhood.

It was created from the bottom up, said Della Pollock, executive director of the nonprofit Marian Cheek Jackson Center in Northside. Pollock, a professor in UNC’s department of communication studies, came up with the idea to work with the Durham nonprofit Center for Community Self-Help on the plan.

Northside, a historically black community in the heart of Chapel Hill, has struggled to balance the interests of students and longtime residents as the town has grown and the population has changed. In 1980, the U.S. Census found 1,159 black residents lived in the neighborhood. By 2010, there were 690.

With some 18,000 university students living off-campus, investors have snapped up homes, redeveloping and renting out one bedroom at a time. The return is more than a single-family home would generate, but it’s pricing out longtime residents. Those who remain said the close-knit area has been more transient, less friendly and overwhelmed by trash, noise, parking and parties.

Students will always live in Northside, said Dan Levine, Self-Help’s assistant director of real estate. Finding a balance will require working with the housing market instead of against it, he said.

Self-Help has led the 16-member Compass Group of residents, students and community advocates since July. More than 40 members of a resource group – including UNC, Chapel Hill and Carrboro officials, real estate professionals and business leaders – have been a sounding board and technical resource.

A $210,000 grant from the private, nonprofit UNC-affiliated Chapel Hill Foundation Real Estate Holdings Inc., is paying Self-Help, two design professionals and a market analyst, Levine said.

To read more click here.

“Community report maps housing strategy” -CH News

Community report maps housing, preservation strategy

BY TAMMY GRUBB, TGRUBB@NEWSOBSERVER.COM

CHAPEL HILL – Nine months after sitting down together, Northside neighbors and community leaders have a plan to improve the neighborhood.

It was created from the bottom up, said Della Pollock, executive director of the nonprofit Marian Cheek Jackson Center in Northside. Pollock, a professor in UNC’s department of communication studies, came up with the idea to work with the Durham nonprofit Center for Community Self-Help on the plan.

Northside, a historically black community in the heart of Chapel Hill, has struggled to balance the interests of students and longtime residents as the town has grown and the population has changed. In 1980, the U.S. Census found 1,159 black residents lived in the neighborhood. By 2010, there were 690.

With some 18,000 university students living off-campus, investors have snapped up homes, redeveloping and renting out one bedroom at a time. The return is more than a single-family home would generate, but it’s pricing out longtime residents. Those who remain said the close-knit area has been more transient, less friendly and overwhelmed by trash, noise, parking and parties.

Students will always live in Northside, said Dan Levine, Self-Help’s assistant director of real estate. Finding a balance will require working with the housing market instead of against it, he said.

Self-Help has led the 16-member Compass Group of residents, students and community advocates since July. More than 40 members of a resource group – including UNC, Chapel Hill and Carrboro officials, real estate professionals and business leaders – have been a sounding board and technical resource.

A $210,000 grant from the private, nonprofit UNC-affiliated Chapel Hill Foundation Real Estate Holdings Inc., is paying Self-Help, two design professionals and a market analyst, Levine said.

A five-year plan

The foundation is reviewing the five-year Northside Housing Market Action Plan now, Levine said. It includes guiding principles and a five-part community investment strategy that seeks to keep and attract more families, preserve the community’s culture and history, and create policies for townwide housing-market issues.

A healthy Northside is important to the town’s future, said Meg McGurk, executive director of the Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership and a Resource Group member. Plus, the neighborhood will be affected by efforts to increase downtown residential density and build an innovation and entrepreneurial hub on Rosemary Street, she said.

Northside neighbors have made progress, said resident Keith Edwards.

“I’ve seen more of a willingness of students to try to be part of the community and reach out to residents who have been here all their lives,” she said.

Aaron Bachenheimer, UNC’s director of fraternity and sorority life and community involvement, said the university has tried to educate students about living off-campus and how to be better neighbors. Complaints are isolated now, often with repeat offenders, and usually cleared up once neighbors, landlords and police get involved, he said.

But students are only one part of the puzzle.

Residents said there’s also economic pressure, created by Northside’s proximity to two downtowns, the town’s limited land, environmental rules and rising property values.

Hudson Vaughan, associate director of the Jackson Center, said neighbors already established an early alert housing network of block captains who find homes for sale and let the owners know developers aren’t the only option.

Other ideas include banking grant money that a nonprofit could use to buy affordable and workforce homes and creating a list of better-practice landlords, resident Josh Davis said.

Grubb: 919-932-8746

MAY DAY! Sat. April 27th!

May Day postcard

It’s that time of year! Our annual May Day celebration will be held here at St. Joseph CME on Saturday April 27th from 11:00-3:00!

Our theme this year is “Celebrating Home” and we’ll be honoring lots of people with awards, kicking off our “Histories of Home” audio tour of the Northside neighborhood, have TONS of games and activities, and of course delicious food. Come celebrate the end of the school year, the coming of spring, and the community we are ALL a part of next Saturday. Check out our awesome promotional video here.

Whether you can come for the entire event or just 20 minutes. come join us. This is an incredible gathering of folks from all corners of Chapel Hill/Carrboro, from the university, and beyond. We have so much to be thankful for, and so much to celebrate!

Thanks to each and every one of you, for your contributions to the Center and the community overall. We hope to see you here!

Jackson Center & Engaged Scholarship

Dr. Jacquelyn Hall, founder of the Southern Oral History Program, recently sat down for an interview with UNC Chancellor Emeritus James Moeser as part of the university’s “Good to Great” series. We encourage you to listen to the entire interview with Hall, a champion of oral history for more than 30 years. At 24:00, Moeser asks Hall about how oral history can inform community engagement and policy change. She mentions the work of the Jackson Center and our executive director, Della Polock. Moeser whole-heartedly agrees, saying “I think that’s the best definition of engaged scholarship I ever heard.” Watch the interview below!