The Path To Affordable Housing Isn’t Easy
Finding affordable housing is as simple as finding a home that fits your budget… right? Not always. A North Carolinian would need to make $17.67 per hour or work 97 hours per week at minimum wage to afford a two-bedroom rental.* The state minimum wage is currently $7.25 per hour.
The path to affordable housing isn’t easy. While we’re waiting for the minimum wage to catch up to the cost of critical needs, nonprofits can help.
Here’s how Community Empowerment Fund (CEF) is helping Durham and Chapel Hill residents access affordable housing:
Nearly half of Durham and Orange County residents are considered house-burdened, meaning they’re paying an unsustainable amount of their monthly budget to rent. CEF is just one local nonprofit that can help you find affordable housing. Reaching out for help is the first step to building a relationship with a team that’s set up to support you. Visit www.communityempowermentfund.org/ to find more.
CEF hosts orientations to get residents started on their affordable housing journeys. During the orientation, you’ll get to know CEF’s team and also complete budget and housing surveys. These surveys gauge both your financial capacity for housing and your housing needs, including number of bedrooms, special accommodations, and more.
Having a criminal history or documented mental illness can be big barriers to housing. Using the results of your budget and housing surveys, CEF can personally advocate for you and help you access housing that might otherwise feel out of reach.
Housing scams are real. You’ve heard it and maybe even seen it firsthand. CEF maintains a database of housing opportunities sourced from local platforms and can help you assess the validity of available listings.
Finding valid listings that meet your needs is hard. Scraping together enough to cover your deposit and first month’s rent can be even harder. CEF Advocates will coach you through this process and help you budget to achieve your goal.
CEF also offers Safe Savings accounts that can help you save for move-in costs. These free accounts offer a 15% match on savings when you meet your goal.
You did it! You took charge of your affordable housing journey and sought the support you needed to achieve your dreams. P.S. don’t forget that CEF is also available to help you with employment needs, delinquent bills, and so much more.