Helen Tart is a native North Carolinian who has lived in Raleigh since 1975 and in her neighborhood near downtown since 1989. She is an editor at NC State and an avid environmentalist. She lives with her dog Ali in 768 square feet and drives an electric car.

Helen delivered the following comments to City Council on Feb 21, 2023:

My request is simple: for the council to ask for a staff report on the affordability of the missing middle developments under administrative site review since the ordinance has been introduced in Raleigh. Please include both approved and in process developments.

The public good behind the ordinance was that it would lead to more affordable housing. All I’m asking is for the council to check the outcome of their efforts to see if the intent is producing the intended results.

The staff could do a confidential rental (and sale price) study, asking the developers how much the units would go for. Then do a calculation on how many of the units would be affordable for people that make less than 80% of the median income. The staff would then report back on a percentage of the missing middle projects that are affordable. If the only result of the study is a percentage, then the developers wouldn’t be giving up any trade secrets.

This should be a relatively quick exercise and it’s important to get the information back as soon as possible, hopefully by the next council meeting.

This is valuable information for both council members that voted for the UDO text change and new council members to see if the missing middle UDO text change is producing affordable housing options.

If the study comes out the way I think it will, then that would be evidence that implementing a moratorium on missing middle developments is needed until the council can address necessary amendments to the UDO text change that will truly result in more affordable housing for Raleigh residents.

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