NCLF Regional Programs: Access to Adequate Housing
With rapid population and economic growth across North Carolina, housing demands have dominated parts of the state, particularly urban centers. In 2021, NCLF decided to build on the success of its statewide program by replicating the model at a regional level. Replicating regionally would enable NCLF to reach leaders at a scale needed to impact the political environment of the state and, at the same time, benefit those regions by providing a space and structure for constructive engagement on controversial issues at the local level. In December of 2021, NCLF launched two consecutive regional programs on the topic of access to adequate housing, followed by another two beginning in December 2022. We selected the topic of “adequate housing” to encompass a broad range of concerns in each region. While “affordable housing” was a frequent sub-topic, conversations included housing for a range of income-levels, approaches to housing from the public and private sector, and all elements that make housing and communities livable and vibrant. The topic brought together urban, suburban, and rural communities and a mix of political perspectives and professional experience. Each region and more particularly, the specific counties, were selected as places where:
- Local and regional problems are highly specific and can be addressed through the NCLF model
- There are leaders of both parties who have the potential to engage with each other constructively in the future around urgent issues
- Leaders at the local level are also already or could become statewide leaders
- Growth in the region and tension between urban and rural populations heighten partisan divisions and contribute to the need for new approaches to constructive engagement across counties
The four regional cohorts were:
- Western NC (Buncombe, Haywood, Henderson, Madison, and Transylvania, 21-22),
- Triad area (Guilford, Alamance, Rockingham, Randolph, and Davidson, 21-22),
- Lower Cape Fear region (Brunswick, New Hanover, Columbus, and Pender, 22-23),
- Triangle area (Johnston, Wake, Harnett, and Chatham, 22-23).
For an overview of the process we used in all four programs, see our “Regional Conversations on Housing: Process Overview” report. Reports on each regional conversation follow below.