Northside

Walking Tour of the Northside Neighborhood

The Northside Initiative: How It Developed, How It Will Work

The Jackson Center’s Executive Director, Della Pollock said it better than I could in a recent letter to Northside neighbors and friends:

One UNC Student's Experience With Finding Off-Campus Housing

I signed a new housing lease about a month ago in mid-October – a lease that won’t start until June of next year. This is how competitive student off-campus housing is in Chapel Hill, and the ever-high demand for student housing in Chapel Hill continues to negatively affect non-student renters. 

Niche.com estimates that 90 percent of houses near campus fill up by October. From my experience, students looking to rent an affordable house (as opposed to a townhouse or apartment) begin the search as early as September. Every year this fight to find the closest, nicest and most affordable home puts additional stress on UNC students, and our desperation to sign a lease as soon as possible pits students against each other, increasing competition and driving prices up.

According to a 2010 report prepared by Development Concepts Inc., students make up about a third of all rented units in Chapel Hill (and rented housing comprises over half of all housing in Chapel Hill). We are a huge market for property owners and developers – on-campus housing can only accommodate 9,700 students, so the remaining 9,000 or so undergrads must find off-campus places.

UNC Students Launch Petition Against Town Housing Ordinance

UNC students have launched a petition against the Town of Chapel Hill's housing ordinance prohibiting more than four unrelated people from living in the same house.

The petition is an initiative of outgoing student body president Christy Lambden. The Lambden Administration is circulating the following blurb to students concerning the petition:

As many of you know in the past year many students have been evicted from their homes for violating The Town of Chapel Hill’s Occupancy Ordinance. This Ordinance states that no more that four unrelated persons can co-inhabit the same single-dwelling residence. We in the Executive Branch of Student Government are asking for your support in signing our petition to The Town of Chapel Hill. We ask that you please circulate this to the members of your respective organizations. Stand with Student Government, fight for students and Don’t Shut the Door on Four.

http://bit.ly/M7O4sU

Also, if you have opinions or experiences with the Ordinance, please let us know at: https://neighborland.com/ideas/chapel-hill-to-hear-people-s-experien. Signing up is very easy and can be done through your Facebook account!

Thanks for your support,

The Lambden Administration

In the fall, there were reports about students being kicked out of their homes for violating the ordinance. This petition appears to be a response to those actions.

However, not all students are supportive of repealing the ordinance. A cursory glance at the Neighborland page emailed out (and seeing intense discussion on many of my friends' Facebook pages) indicates that this is a multidimensional issue that our community continues to struggle with, students fully included.  

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.

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