Expanding Housing Choices


Fast-paced population growth, limited availability of developable tracts, and a renewed preference for in-town living has led to a housing availability and affordability challenge for Durham. Over time, zoning rules have restricted development in many neighborhoods almost exclusively to single-family dwellings, eliminating many of the small-scale and often more affordable multifamily options that once existed. Often referred to as “Missing Middle” housing, this project will explore ways to eliminate regulatory barriers and expand the choices that people have when it comes to housing types. 


Staff presented an overview of the Expanding Housing Choices project, covering the background, project scope, and proposed concepts at Durham City Council work session on August 23. The same materials are scheduled to be shared with the Board of County Commissioners at their work session on September 4. Links to all agenda materials are listed below under documents, as well as an audio recording of the meeting  


June-August 2018 Questionnaire Results
During the summer, over 1300 people responded to a questionnaire issued by the Durham Planning Department aimed at gaining insight into people’s perceptions of issues driving current trends in the housing market and of their own housing choices. The questionnaire was not intended to be a scientific survey, but as a means to gage public opinion to inform future directions of this initiative. 

The questionnaire was made available from June 15 through August 15. Advertisement of the questionnaire was coordinated by the City and County public affairs’ offices through traditional and social media platforms. In an effort to reach a broader cross-section of the Durham community, Planning Department staff attended events throughout the summer, including the Rock the Park concert series, the Durham Farmers’ Market, and the Latino Festival. Flyers were also distributed through the Police Department during National Night Out events.

The City Council, at its August 23, 2018 work session, was briefed on the results of the questionnaire, as will be the Board of Commissioners at its September 4, 2018 work session. The documents below provide a review of the questionnaire results, including  a summary of the comments received through the questionnaire and a complete listing of the comments. 

Questionnaire Summary Results
Appendix A - Compared Results
Appendix B - Summary of Comments
Appendix C - List of Comments

August 23, 2018 City Council Work Session
Proposed Concepts
Questionnaire Results
Audio (http://durham.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=5&clip_id=2204)

June 6, 2018 Joint City County Planning Committee


Hannah Jacobson at 919-560-4137 x. 28247
Michael Stock at 919-560-4137 x.28227