The Raleigh City Council wants your help deciding how much it should ask taxpayers to shell out for an affordable housing bond on the November ballot, and even more importantly, what it should spend the money on.

The economic uncertainty unleashed by the coronavirus pandemic led the council to forgo a parks bond for 2020 and refocus its energy on passing a robust bond to address the city’s burgeoning housing affordability crisis. And even though Raleigh is facing an unavoidable budget deficit this year, Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin says “we need to be more aggressive” on the bond.

“It’s needed now more than ever,” Baldwin says. “The number of people who have lost jobs, it’s going to have an impact on affordability.”

And that’s where you come in: a survey released this week wants residents to weigh in on the plan. 

You can find the survey here.

Consider: Should we follow in Durham’s footsteps and go for a $100 million bond or a more modest $50 million? A $100 million bond would mean a tax increase of about $15 dollars on a property assessed at $250,000. How much can you afford? 

Consider also: what kind of programs should the city should prioritize? Should we be funding more public housing? Building along transit lines? Increasing mortgage down payment assistance? Partnering with the private sector? 

Baldwin thinks the city needs a wide-ranging approach, which would range from programs that ensure that folks in gentrifying neighborhoods can stay in their homes, to land banking around the city’s bus rapid transit line. 

Whatever you chose, just make sure you’re willing to foot the bill come November.

Contact Raleigh news editor Leigh Tauss at 

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