Raleigh funds first Cottage Court Development

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North Carolina Construction News staff writer

Raleigh city council took another step towards creating the first affordable “cottage court” community – a type of housing development that consists of small individual homes, typically around a shared greenspace. By authorizing an Option to Purchase, and approving a request for gap funding, council paved the way for the development of The Cottages of Idlewild (project).

The proposed project will be developed by the Raleigh Area Land Trust, Inc. (RALT) and will have 18 affordable housing units. These will serve residents with lower incomes, earning up to 30 percent to 80 percent of Area Median Income (AMI). That’s 18 families and approximately 60 individuals up front, with a goal of serving more than 200 people over the next 30 years.

Council has given RALT an opportunity to obtain site control of three city-owned parcels totaling 1.17 acres. The property is located at 301 Idlewild Avenue, 907 and 913 East Lane Street. Full conveyance to RALT will not occur until:

  • all terms and conditions of the Option to Purchase have been satisfied
  • city council authorizes such conveyance
  • all statutory requirements have been met

Gap funding is to offset increased development costs.  RALT is also seeking $770,000 of additional gap funding from Wake County.

The project has been in motion since 2021, when RALT was awarded an opportunity to develop this site through a competitive Request for Proposals (RFP) process. Tuesday’s action was an important step to keep the proposed project moving forward.

RALT’s original proposal was for 17 units and has been modified to include 18 units (4 rental units for residents at or below 30 percent, 60 percent, and 80 percent of the AMI, and 14 for-sale units for first time homebuyers with an AMI at or below 50 percent and 60 percent of the AMI).

This project will be developed based on the Community Land Trust Model. Buyers purchase the home only and lease land at a nominal rate for a minimum of 99 years.

To learn more visit the city’s affordable housing 101 webpage.

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