Public school teachers, low-level city workers, even journalists can’t afford many, if not most, of the 2,400 new apartments and condos being built in central Durham.

The Lofts at Southside is only new project that approaches affordability for households earning the area’s median income. It is heavily subsidized with public tax dollars and combines housing for low- and middle-income households.

We based our estimates of affordability on accepted guidelines that stipulate no more than 30 percent of gross income should be spent on housing. However, given other household expenses, including credit card debt, medical bills and child care, even the 30 percent figure could be too steep.

While all of these projects are built along public transit routes (a plus), many people who work downtown—bank tellers, restaurant workers, paralegals, and yes, journalists—can’t live in the city center.

Sources for these figures are from the development websites, the U.S. Census, public salary databases and, which lists median and average salaries for professions by city. To view the entire charts, click on the last icon at the bottom right of the documents.

Note: 605 West rental prices include utilities except for electricity.