The Durham Housing Authority recognizes the ongoing challenge of preserving affordable housing and aims to address it by incorporating climate resilience and sustainable design principles. By partnering with FUSE, they seek to assess funding opportunities, improve the health and energy efficiency of existing and new affordable housing, and develop a roadmap for implementing climate-resilient practices. The project focuses on the Durham Housing Authority’s portfolio, serving the lowest-income and most vulnerable households in Durham, to create environmentally friendly affordable housing opportunities that reduce negative climate impact and enhance residents’ long-term health and vitality. The project also aims to inform a City-wide strategy for incorporating innovative design and promoting environmental justice in historically disinvested communities.

As part of their efforts, the Durham Housing Authority plans to transform 447 existing affordable housing units into 2,500 units of mixed-income housing, along with commercial and retail spaces. By incorporating climate-resilient components and energy-efficient designs, they aim to maintain the affordability of the units while creating truly mixed-income communities. FUSE Executive Fellow Chris Miraglia will be crucial in conducting a funding assessment, evaluating climate resilience, developing strategies, and liaising between the Durham Housing Authority, the City, community stakeholders, consultants, and private partners. The ultimate objective is to increase the number of affordable housing units, address disparities, and promote environmental justice within the City of Durham.