Raleigh Council Members Turn Their Backs on Affordable Housing Promises One Day After Election

By Brent Woodcox

A truly shameful state of affairs in Raleigh this week.

Mary-Ann Baldwin said her fellow members of the Raleigh City Council should be “ashamed” after they declined to move faster on allowing “granny flats” to help increase the stock of affordable housing.

Raleigh leaders have been working out a plan that would allow property owners to build accessory dwelling units, or small secondary homes or apartments. Units can include basement or above-the-garage spaces to be rented out. ...

On Wednesday, Baldwin asked the council to consider discussing the issue Nov. 21, during her last meeting as a council member. Baldwin did not run for re-election this year.

But the council decided to keep the granny-flat discussions in a planning committee for now.

“This is a personal plea,” Baldwin said. “I started working on this more than two years ago ... and I really would like the opportunity to consider finishing this issue that I put a lot of time and effort in by having it come to the full council.”

She continued: “For all of you who campaigned on affordable housing, you should be embarrassed today. ... You should be ashamed of yourselves.”

Affordable housing was a hot-button issue in the City Council election this year. The need for more reasonably priced housing options was a major focus in the mayor’s race, in which Nancy McFarlane won a fourth two-year term in a runoff Tuesday.

Accessory dwelling units were recognized in the recently adopted Wake County Affordable Housing Plan as one way to increase density and add to the area’s affordable housing stock with relatively little impact on existing neighborhoods. ...
— Henry Gargan, N&O
Brent Woodcox