“If elected, will you follow the recommendations of the Cary Housing Plan? In particular, will you support the continuation of dedicated Town funding to develop and preserve affordable housing in Cary?”
Here is my answer:
I am very comfortable saying yes: I will follow the recommendations of the Cary Housing Plan, but will go further to say that while it is a good plan, I think we can do more. I believe there is a great deal of competency and great ideas in our Town staff, a myriad of ways we can partner with area non-profits, agencies, County and State government, and builders so that we can come together to make real progress to decrease the affordable housing shortage.
The current mixed-income project the Town is planning at 921 SE Maynard in partnership with non-profit builder Laurel Street is a great example of what we can do, and this is the type of project I will advocate for on Council. I am eager to see it be a solar-powered development built to a green standard, and once complete it can be a repeatable model of what we can do in other areas of Cary. I have been a vocal advocate of the project, which is right in my neighborhood, and have worked with my downtown neighbors to get signatures on a statement of support for the project. In stakeholder meetings over the last year, I became convinced that this type of sustainable mixed-income project is right for Cary.
I believe voters will look at the body of knowledge I built during countless hours of meetings and calls with stakeholders, my supportive actions, and my unequivocal statements in support of a comprehensive housing-affordability plan for the Town and know that I am not paying the topic lip service. Wake County and Cary’s housing affordability crisis is one of the primary drivers behind my decision to run for Council.
In juxtaposition, I am in a runoff with former Council member Ken George who was one of two people on the Council who voted against the scaled-back plan for seven single-family detached Habitat for Humanity homes on Trimble Ave in his own neighborhood in 2017. In this case, I believe actions speak louder than words, and my actions demonstrate my unwavering commitment to pursuing every possible funding source and approach to ease the housing cost burden so many Cary citizens face.
Let me add this note here: I have met with the Habitat team several times and am in awe of their work to increase homeownership! Also, I was proud to work a day trim painting and scrubbing a newly completed home at that worksite, and my family spent many hours pitching in on the Trimble Ave Habitat project. If you ever thought you would like to work on a Habitat for Humanity project, I highly recommend it. Amanda Murphy and I were terrible at framing but turned out we were useful cleaning up construction debris and painting trim. It is great exercise, excellent comradery, and you do something great for someone else.