The City of Salisbury is making strides in its efforts to address housing through various programs.
Salisbury has a long-standing relationship with the Salisbury Community Development Corporation (SCDC), a local non-profit that partners with private, public, and non-profit sectors, together with a local foundation, to create homeownership opportunities for low and moderate-income families in Salisbury and Rowan County.
Since 1999, the SCDC has served as the city’s implementation partner and has been proactive in helping to fund and build decent, safe, affordable housing for families through the federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and HOME Partnership programs. Partnerships with organizations like the SCDC help to bring needed resident services like housing counseling, down payment assistance, and urgent repair programs to the County.
In 2018, Salisbury partnered once again with the SCDC to launch the first phase of the West End rehabilitation pilot program. This new initiative assists homeowners and landlords with the exterior rehabilitation of residential properties in the city’s West End. Exterior projects included roofing, painting, porches & foundations, doors, windows, wood and siding repairs, and landscape improvements. Following its success in the West End, the program was brought to residents and landlords in the Park Avenue Neighborhood. To date, $1.6 million has been budgeted and nearly 50 homes have received exterior rehabilitations.
Salisbury has long advocated for the use of Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) to aid developers in creating affordable housing units. Since 1999 there have been 967 units created using the tax credits, including the 170-unit Brenner Crossing in the West End.
More recently, as development and growth pressure mounts, and demographics and trends in real estate change, the city is looking ahead. The Salisbury City Council adopted a new comprehensive plan, titled Forward 2040. As the plan calls for the development of a 10-Year Housing Strategy, the city issued a Request for Qualifications for a consulting firm to help develop the strategy. Submissions are due Monday, May 1. Preliminary work is set to begin in July and last between 12 and 18 months.
In addition to the adoption of the Forward 2040 plan, during the late January 2023 Salisbury City Council retreat, officials also doubled down their goal for a holistic approach to housing with implementable strategies that bring partners together to address a variety of housing issues.
“We know there are challenges. We hear from people every day across the income spectrum who are struggling to find housing that is both affordable and adequate, said Salisbury Mayor Karen K. Alexander. “While low-income populations feel the pressure of housing instability most acutely, it’s now an issue that impacts everyone and threatens to hinder economic development.”
“The goal behind the 10-Year Housing Strategy,” said Planning Director Hannah Jacobson, “is to begin thinking strategically about where the City’s efforts and resources can make the biggest impact - whether that’s in using city-owned land for housing, leveraging local dollars for public-private partnerships, or educating residents about their right to quality, Fair Housing -- is to be determined.”