Northside Resource Group convened to provide ideas for neighborhood conservation and diversification

The Marian Cheek Jackson Center, in collaboration with UNC and Self Help Credit Union, is leading a process to develop strategies to shift the Northside neighborhood's trajectory away from increasing student housing and decreasing long-term single family housing to be more diverse (in 1980 the neighborhood was 59.3% African American and by 2010 is was down to 23.8% - data from Self Help/Jackson Center).

These partners have created a Compass Group of current and former residents of Northside and other interested parties. Through meetings with this Group and conversations with Northside neighbors a list of 5 community aspirations was developed:

1. Preserving a sense of culture and community identify, as well as preserving African-American land ownership in Northside;

2. Helping long-term residents improve their housing conditions and quality of life;

3. Minimizing the negative impacts of student renters/rentals, and perhaps cooling off the student rental market;

4. Maintaining/restoring a close-knit, proud community, and

5. Building a neighborhood that attracts a diverse range of individuals and families going forward.

Based on these community aspirations, a Four-Part Framework for Northside was created:

1. Retention: Creating a strategy to retain families and homowners who could choose other neighborhoods. What specifically can we do to keep existing owners/families in the neighborhood?

2. Transition: Creating a strategy for influencing property disposition in the neighborhood. Some exisiting owners will want to or have to leave the Northside. What specifically can we do to up the chances that a home sold in Northside gets sold to an owner-occupant or becomes a stable, non-student rental?

3. Attraction: Creating a strategy for reigniting home ownership demand in the neighborhood. Who are the next generation of homewoners and how do we get them to choose Northside?

4. Balancing the Market: Creating a strategy for influencing the demand for student housing as well as it's location and impact on neighborhood. What can we do to have student rental housing complement our retention, tranistion, and attraction strageties?

A Resource Team of 43 participants who are stakeholders, key leaders in affordable housing, and others with particular expertise (including myself representing Orange County Justice United) has been assembled to help suggest strategies to address each of the four components of the framework listed above in conjunction with the Compass Group.

So, how can the towns, the university, and residents address these four components?


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