New Study Analyzes Affordable Housing Along Proposed Passenger Rail

The Greater Triangle Commuter Rail Project, included in both Wake and Durham counties’ transit plans, would run at least 37 miles from West Durham to Garner or Clayton through major employment areas, connecting to world-class universities and employment areas and increasing job and educational opportunities for everyone in the Triangle.

Why is a housing study of the rail line important?

Increasing the number of people who live near and regularly use this transit service - especially low and moderate-income residents who are more likely to depend on and use transit - benefits citizens, economic development, and the cost-effectiveness of public services. Therefore, it is imperative to analyze the commuter rail project's intersection with housing and identify actions to preserve and create affordable housing along the rail line's corridor, one mile on either side of the tracks. 

Key takeaways

The TJCOG Housing and Transportation teams' recently released study on affordable housing opportunities for the project assesses current opportunities for housing along the proposed transit, identifies locations where additional stops could benefit residents of affordable housing, and indicates performance measures to preserve these housing options.

  • Households that spend more than 45% of income on housing, utilities, and transportation are considered cost-burdened. The average household in Durham, Johnston, and Wake counties spends more than 50%. A high-quality and affordable transit network can help households reallocate funds.
  • There are 6,200 units of Legally-Binding Affordability-Restricted (LBAR) Housing in the corridor, 27% of all LBAR in the three counties. This type of housing is for those who meet income thresholds.
  • There are 22,000 market-rate apartments in the corridor that are affordable to households making 80% or less of Area Median Income. Preserving these units and removing barriers for additional developments are cost-effective strategies to increase the supply.
  • An initial examination of publicly-owned land within the corridor indicates roughly 1,500 acres of land controlled by the public sector might be suitable for additional affordable housing.
  • Two areas along the corridor are considered Opportunity Segments, places with existing affordable housing that were far from proposed stations: Morrisville Parkway and downtown Clayton.

Read the Executive Summary 

Read the Full Report.

Learn more about the Greater Triangle Commuter Rail Project