Dec 1, 2022 - News

Cary's affordable housing debut

Illustration of a dollar sign made out of house keys.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

For the first time, the town of Cary is working with a developer to build affordable housing on town-owned land.

Driving the news: Cary recently approved a plan with the development firm Laurel Street to build a 126-unit apartment building that will have 64 units available to families whose income levels fall below the area median income.

  • The project at 921 SE Maynard Rd. will be powered completely by rooftop solar panels and sits on the future bus rapid transit route between Cary and Raleigh.

Why it matters: Leveraging publicly owned land to lure a developer to build affordable housing is a popular strategy in Raleigh and Durham.

Details: Cary initially bought the land from Wake County Public Schools to build a new water tower, but after that plan fell through, it explored how to use it for affordable housing.

  • Around a third of the affordable units are available for families making 80% or less of the area median income, which for a family of four equaled $107,000 in 2022.
  • Another third would be available to those making 50% of AMI. The rest are available to those receiving federally-subsidized housing vouchers.

What they're saying: "The emphasis of [Cary's housing] plan was that all of the amenities and an incredible quality of life that we have to offer here in Cary should be available to all people and different income levels," Danna Widmar, Cary's town manager, told Axios.

  • Teachers, for example, often struggle to find housing in the town now, and Widmar said the town plans to market the new building to teachers in the Wake County Public School System.

What's next: Construction is expected to begin in 2024, with an opening date anticipated in 2026.

  • Widmar said Cary is looking for more town-owned property to use for affordable housing. The town is also contemplating buying more land, she said.

Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Raleigh.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Raleigh stories

No stories could be found


Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Raleigh.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more