Donna Bailey has lived in Raleigh for over 25 years and has been a neighborhood advocate for much of that time. She served as President of the University Park Neighborhood Association and has also been Chair of the Hillsborough-Wade Citizens Advisory Council (CAC). Donna has been very active in educating the public on what is going on within the city and making sure that resident’s voices are heard. Donna is originally from New Jersey but has lived in many other places, including Germany for 10 years. Donna delivered the following comments to City Council at the December 6, 2022 meeting:

Welcome to the new and returning councilors. You were elected to help make great changes with how the city operates.

Last night, the mayor talked about affordable housing, but unfortunately, that was all Kabuki theater.

The past council FAILED to protect our most vulnerable citizens in their efforts to give the developers free reign in their rezoning requests. Homelessness has DOUBLED in the last 2 years under the mayor’s leadership.

According to Larry Jarvis, the city of Raleigh is losing over 4,000 NOAH (Naturally Occuring Affordable Housing) units a year. Last year the city provided 156 affordable units. Where do the people go who lived in those affordable units when everything that is being built is “luxury” housing. We need affordable housing NOW, not in 30 years when all this luxury housing will be affordable.

This “trickle down” housing theory does not work and this council needs to be very deliberate with new rezonings. The first questions should be:

    • How many NOAH units are being lost and how will this new rezoning request offset that loss?
    • Real affordability, of 60 and 30% needs to be included, not the John Kane version of 80% for 5 or 10 years.
    • Affordable housing can be offered as a community benefit with any upzoning. That is what Raleigh needs to get us through this crisis.

We will be a better city when we take all of our residents into consideration and not just the wealthy donors that support the mayor. You councilors hold the power now and Raleigh is ready to see you get to work!

You can read more details about this issue in a previous comment from Donna: Mayor Baldwin & City Council have failed to meet their own affordable housing targets.

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