Housing

According to the U.S. Department of Education, data from a few years ago show that about a fourth of NC teachers work a part-time job.
Flickr user Mike Mozart

In the popular teenage movie Mean Girls, there’s a scene where a few high school students spot someone unexpected at the mall.

“Oh my god, that’s Mrs. Norbury,” one student exclaims.  

“I love seeing teachers outside of school, it’s like seeing a dog walk on its hinds legs,” a second student adds.   

It’s their math teacher, played by Tina Fey. But she’s not shopping.

“No, actually I’m just here because I bar-tend a couple of nights a week,” she says.

Taking On A Retail Job

Housing
Leoneda Inge

The Federal Reserve is expected to raise interest rates today but experts say that’s unlikely to slow down the real estate boom in the Triangle. Most of the action is in Wake County, especially in Fuquay-Varina and Morrisville. 

A picture of a foreclosure sign in front of a house.
Jeff Turner / Flickr

Foreclosures have slowed in recent years, but many families still struggle to pay their mortgages since the Recession.

A program set up to help North Carolinians pay their mortgage after a layoff or the death of a bread-winner has about a year's worth of money left. Bob Kucab  directs the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency, which administers the program with money from the U.S. Treasury's "Hardest Hit" fund.

An image of the Supreme Court
Kjetil Ree / Wikimedia Commons

The U.S. Supreme Court says housing discrimination does not have to be intentional to be illegal.

Last week's ruling in the case of Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project held that while the state did not intend to create racially discriminatory housing policies, the negative outcomes for minority communities in Dallas meant a violation of the Fair Housing Act.

The decision could affect the way states across the country assign affordable housing projects, including in North Carolina.

Housing
Leoneda Inge

Bankers, credit officers and policy makers are in Raleigh this week for the American Mortgage Conference, presented by the North Carolina Bankers Association.   They say financing home ownership remains at a crossroads.

View from the hilltop at Carver Pond Apartments on Meriwether Drive in Durham, North Carolina
Ildar Sagdejev

  In North Carolina, two million families live without adequate housing. 

A picture of a window with a for rent sign.
capl_@_washjeff.edu / Creative Commons

Several major property management companies in Carrboro and Chapel Hill are no longer accepting federal housing assistance vouchers.  Housing assistance advocates say options for low-income families in the area are dwindling.

James Davis of the Orange County Housing Authority said at a press conference in Carrboro yesterday that there's a misconception that Section 8 recipients don't work, or that participating in the Section 8 program is difficult.

Showhomes, Home Staging
Eric Mennel / WUNC

About a year ago, Cora Blinsman’s mom passed away. Needless to say, it was a really hard on her. She started taking stock of her own life. Cora had been a full-time, stay-at-home mom for 20 years, and she was feeling burnt out. She needed space. So … she got a lot of it.

Charlotte Map
UNC Population Center

The Carolina Population Center at UNC is debuting a new unit this week that will focus on translating complicated Census data for businesses and the public.

The new unit is called Carolina Demography.  And the first project by Director Rebecca Tippett is dissecting current and future North Carolina housing units for a span covering 110 years.

City of Raleigh

National housing experts are in Raleigh today to talk about the future of the mortgage market. 

RubyJi via Flickr, Creative Commons

July home sales are up 39 percent in the Triangle, compared to the same period last year. That number comes from Durham, Johnston, Orange and Wake County sales.   

As home sales have increased, inventory has gone down, by over 10 percent. Currently, the region has just a three month supply of homes on the market based on current trends.   

Stacey Anfindsen, a market analyst with Birch appraisal Group, says these numbers need perspective. 

A dorm at UNC-Chapel Hill.
madrigals via Flickr, Creative Commons

UNC Board of Governors members voted unanimously to cancel a policy allowing men and women to live together on the Chapel Hill campus.  The vote nullified the UNC Chapel Hill trustee board's endorsement of gender neutral housing.

Some male and female students were going to live together in 32 living spaces set aside in two dorms starting this month.  But the board of governors said that arrangement would be inappropriate.  Chairman Peter Hans says their consideration of the policy included the unfavorable opinions of some state lawmakers.

Kay Hagan is co-sponsoring a new housing bill in the US Senate.
Kay Hagan

Some members of Congress from North Carolina are getting behind proposals to dismantle mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. 

Public Housing in Chapel Hill.
Town of Chapel Hill

Section 8 is a federal subsidy program that bridges the gap between people with low-income and market rentals. But this summer, Chapel Hill, Carrboro and Raleigh, all face cuts to their Section 8 Voucher Program.

City of Raleigh

Raleigh city officials have plans for several new residential developments in the middle of the capital city.  They say it's part of their master plan to entice not only new residents but new business downtown.

It is also an indication that Raleigh is doing well economically.  City Planning Director Mitchell Silver says residences that are on the drawing board or under construction are geared toward not just urban professionals, but families.

Coastal Properties via Flickr, Creative Commons

Blacks and Hispanics are paying significantly more in home prices than whites. That's according to new research out of Duke University that tracked more than two million home sales in Chicago, San Francisco, Washington D.C. and L.A.

Sales of homes in the Triangle jumped 33-percent last month, when compared to January, 2012. The average length of time a house is sitting on the market is down to 115 days, from 130 a year ago. Stacey Anfindsen is a local residential real estate appraiser, and market analyst. He’s says improved sales are tied to a growing workforce in Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill region.

Franklin Street in Chapel Hill
Dave DeWitt

A developer has approval from the Chapel Hill Town Council to rebuild a key block of the downtown area.  The council voted unanimously Monday night to approve the 123 West Franklin project, which would replace University Square.

The current development is separated from the front of Franklin Street by a parking lot.  123 West Franklin would include buildings on the front of Franklin Street with apartments as well as retail and office space.  Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt says it will revitalize the area.

Leoneda Inge

There are neighborhoods in many urban areas across the country with empty, dilapidated houses. Chances are the down economy got the best of the owner resulting in foreclosure.  But in thousands of cases foreclosures have gone wrong like at a house on East Geer (gear) Street in Durham.   For years no one took responsibility for the defaulted mortgage.  That means, the foreclosure was not completed, the structure could not be sold, resulting in blight.  It’s called a “bank walk away.”

City inspectors in Greensboro lost track of more than 300 cases of housing and nuisance violations.

The violations ranged from overgrown lots to structures that should have been condemned. In some instances city inspectors found housing code violations, but didn’t follow up and were not held accountable by supervisors. The lost violations effect between 50 and 75 properties. Councilwoman Nancy Vaughn says a new computer system didn’t cross-check with old cases.

Lavinia "Big Boss" Hensley
Leoneda Inge

The current state of the economy has shaken up countless careers, especially if you were in the housing construction business. But in a neighborhood outside High Point, one woman who used to build homes now uses her own home as a bakery. She said it was time to do the one thing she knew best and Big Boss Baking Company was born. Leoneda Inge has this report for our series, “Breaking into the Food Biz.”

Lavinia Hensley:  Hey come on in, how are you. You found us. See you weren’t too far.
Leoneda Inge: I know. I found it.

Rosemary Thornton may have driven by your house a few times. She may have even slowed down, whipped out her camera and snapped a few pictures. But, she’s not casing the place. Thornton is documenting history. If she’s interested in your dwelling, it’s likely you live in a kit home, a mail-order house that could be purchased out of a catalog in the early 20th century.

Durham will soon be home to some of North Carolina's first housing for homeless veterans with disabilities. The 10-unit complex near Northgate Mall will have affordable rents and will connect tenants with support services.

Jess Brandes is projects coordinator for CASA, the nonprofit developing the site. She says Durham has a lot of services for veterans because of the VA medical center there.

The Obama administration says thousands of North Carolina families could benefit from a proposed home-refinancing program. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan came to Raleigh to tout the proposal. He told WUNC that ten percent of North Carolina homeowners owe more on their home than the home is worth and the national average is twice that.

Nashville housing counselor Louetta Hix
Rose Hoban

  In the last 10 years, multiple studies have concluded that housing people with mental health disabilities in adult and family care homes is not the best plan for them. Each study has recommended phasing out use of the homes and improving the system. Despite that, the number of homes has increased along with the number of adults with mental illness who live in them.

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