With $14M allocated for affordable housing in the Wake County Budget and the completion of the Affordable Housing Task Force Report, we have brought on our first-ever Housing Director Lorena McDowell. She has hit the ground running leveraging federal tax credit funds to move forward on building more than 500 new affordable housing units here in Wake County.
We are working with our municipal partners to ensure more workforce housing becomes available so our fire people, police officers, teachers and nurses can afford to live and be part of our communities.
There is an initiative to integrate affordable housing in our land use decisions around transit corridors with the first area of focus being the Bus Rapid Transit line along New Bern Corridor.
We are also getting started on a supportive housing initiative, as well as opening a new Women’s Shelter in the fall in partnership with Urban Ministries.
So much is happening and it’s very exciting to see all the affordable housing developments happening within the county.
Oak City Multi-Service Center
In an effort to serve our vulnerable communities, and reduce the number of “Familiar Faces” — those citizens that regularly find themselves calling EMS, visiting our emergency rooms, being incarcerated or utilizing homeless shelter services, we opened our Oak City Multi-Service Center on Wilmington St. with great fanfare.
Built and supported by Wake County and run by Catholic Charities, the Oak City Cares center is a one-stop shop for services and resources including food, housing, transportation, medical care, employment, veteran services and more. Showers, lockers, laundry facilities, computers, telephones and charging stations are also available.
We have already had great stories of success and look forward to continuing to work to improve the lives of all our citizens.
Behavioral Health Improvements
Medicaid expansion would make a HUGE difference in our ability to serve Wake County citizens with behavioral health and addiction issues. The next time anyone asks what’s Sig number one request of our General Assembly? The answer is Medicaid Expansion.
That said, we have done some remarkable things with our limited budget. We completed a Behavioral Health Summit laying out a plan for the county, as well as launching a host of new initiatives to help improve the lives of our most vulnerable citizens.
A first in Wake County is our new Behavioral Health Urgent Care for walk-in services. We now have a mobile crisis team, which can be dispatched along with EMS when a behavioral health crisis taking place. Our children’s behavioral health facilities have been expanded through our partnership with Holly Hill. And, we established 12 units of “housing first” apartments to begin offering stability.
Additional 2019 Mid-Year Updates: