Safe and Affordable Housing
Nearly one in four North Carolinians lives in unaffordable or substandard housing. The Justice Center, in coordination with the NC Housing Coalition, works to increase public and private investments in the construction and rehabilitation of safe and decent housing – both for affordable homeownership and rental purposes. We also work in the courts and the legislature to assure that the legal system provides a fair shake to tenants and homeowners who confront the prospect of eviction, foreclosure and predatory loans.
The Justice Center is a member of the Campaign for Housing Carolina, a coalition of more than 120 organizations is to build strong and widespread public support for a $50 million annual appropriation to the NC Housing Trust Fund, which provides financial support so developers can build affordable homes and apartments. It can also finance emergency repairs, modifications to make homes handicapped-accessible, and supportive housing for the homeless, victims of domestic violence, persons with mental illness, and other low-income populations.
The Justice Center has significantly increased the state’s funding for the Housing Trust Fund, which finances the construction and rehabilitation of affordable housing. The state’s recurring investment in the fund has grown from $3 million in 2003 to $10 million in 2008.
In 2008, the Justice Center successfully advocated for the state to expand its Home Protection Program to all 100 counties and double funding. Launched in 2004 in only eight counties, the program helps laid-off workers keep their homes while they retrain and look for new jobs.
In the courts, the Justice Center and private co-counsel challenged the Raleigh Housing Authority’s improper procedures for terminating residents’ subsidized housing vouchers. Settlement of the case in 2007 resulted in new procedures that better protect residents’ rights. That year, we also represented the tenants’ association of a Wake County mobile home park where many tenants faced improper utility bills and collection procedures. We persuaded the corporation that owned the park to remove improper fees and change its collections procedures for utilities in all ten of the mobile home parks it owned in North Carolina.
- Support the Campaign for Housing Carolina, which advocates for increased funding for the NC Housing Trust Fund.
Justice Center staff members specializing in housing policy:
Bill Rowe, General Counsel
Alfred Ripley, Director - Consumer Affairs