Wake County Lands Multimillion Dollar Partners for Initiative to Save Existing Affordable Housing

Some of the largest banks in America have now signed on to help Wake County address a critical issue facing communities across the country: families being priced out of their homes and the loss of affordable living for workers.

Today, local leaders stood with financial giants Truist, First Horizon and Wells Fargo to announce more than $61 million to preserve thousands of low-to-moderate income housing units in the coming years through the Wake County Affordable Housing Preservation Fund.

“Without preserving the existing affordable units within our communities, we’re just treading water when it comes to solving the bigger issue of our housing crisis,” said Wake County Commissioner Vickie Adamson. “This is one of the biggest investments the county has ever made into an affordable housing program, and it showcases our commitment to keeping residents in homes they can afford and in communities they love.”

The fund was first announced in October 2021, with the Board of Commissioners approving a $10.5 million loan and multi-year contract with Self-Help Ventures Fund, a Durham-based nonprofit financial institution . The City of Raleigh joined on, committing $4 million more toward preserving units within its city limits.

Now, with three national banks bringing the total to $61.6 million, the fund is immediately able to allow loans to be made fast enough for development partners to take advantage of competitive acquisition opportunities. It’s estimated this fund will be able to preserve 3,170 affordable housing units over the next 15 years.

Since 2010, Wake County has lost 59% of its housing units with rent below $750 per month, and 40% of units with rent below $1,000 per month.

“Right now, we’re losing affordable units much faster than we’re adding new ones,” said Raleigh Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin. “We want to turn that around. To do that, we need to preserve existing affordable housing like the historic Grosvenor Gardens apartments that the City is helping CASA acquire and preserve. This fund is exactly how we want to be investing our local housing dollars.”

Self-Help Ventures Fund serves as administrator by continuing to leverage the investments from Wake County and the City of Raleigh and attract additional capital from banking partners, corporations, nonprofits, foundations and municipalities, increasing the funds impact in Wake County.

There are two loan options available for developers to qualify for:

  1. Bridge Builder Loan: A short-term revolving loan to help acquire or maintain affordable multifamily rental properties, giving development partners time to stabilize the properties and obtain long-term supportive financing.
  2. Place Saver Loan: Permanent financing loans to acquire, rehabilitate, or preserve multifamily rental properties, whether naturally occurring affordable housing or expiring legally binding affordable housing.

“We need to be able to provide flexible and affordable financing to maintain affordable housing long term,” said Tucker Bartlett, Executive Vice President at Self-Help Ventures Fund. “With the commitment and vision of our government and bank partners, we are ready to do just that!”

Wake County will monitor the fund and review its performance quarterly and annually, specifically looking at loan production, underwriting processes and loan performance.

Potential investors and developers can learn more about the Wake County Affordable Housing Preservation Fund at wakegov.com/preservationfund.

Press Release