In the News September 23 – October 7 

Housing Equity: 

  1. McArthur Park II increases affordable housing and community resilience in Fayetteville: NCORR funding supports new multifamily development: The North Carolina Office of Recovery and Resiliency (NCORR) has funded its largest affordable housing project to date, an 80-unit affordable multifamily apartment development in Fayetteville called McArthur Park II. The apartments were built to meet key housing needs in an area that lost units due to past hurricanes Matthew and Florence while allowing residents to stay in their community. 
  1. Board of Commissioners approve funding to help create 152 new workforce housing units: New Hanover County approved the use of $3 million to help fund a pair of projects that will bring 152 new workforce housing units to the community. The funding is the first installment of a five-year, $15 million commitment previously approved by the Commissioners to improve workforce and affordable housing stock in the county. 
  1. Housing project a ‘small step:’ ARISE to help youth exit foster care: Wayman Williams, executive director and CEO of the Housing Authority of the City of Greenville, said Wednesday that work could begin as early as Jan. 1 on the project dubbed ARISE, a development that will cater to people age 18-24 who are at risk of homelessness after they age out of foster care. 
  1. Amid end to COVID help, homelessness surging in many cities: Fueled by a long-running housing shortage, rising rent prices and the economic hangover from the pandemic, the overall number of homeless in a federal government report to be released in coming months is expected to be higher than the 580,000 unhoused before the coronavirus outbreak. 
  1. Asheville hopes study of local market will increase supply of affordable housing: Asheville city leaders are looking to hire a firm to conduct a “missing middle” housing study, identifying ways the city can address the region’s affordable housing challenges. Asheville has about a 3,000 housing unit gap, with 40% of renters and 20% of homeowners in the city considered cost-burdened. 

Health Equity: 

  1. The Biden-⁠Harris Administration Announces More Than $8 Billion in New Commitments as Part of Call to Action for White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health: The Conference will lay out a vision for ending hunger and reducing diet-related disease by 2030 while closing disparities among the communities that are impacted most. 
  1. NCDHHS Works to Improve Birth Outcomes and Health of All Individuals of Reproductive Age: The statewide plan is in support of the NCDHHS priority on child and family well-being and outlines three primary goals: addressing economic and social inequities, strengthening families and communities, and improving health care for all people of reproductive age. 
  1. State’s free and charitable clinics chart vision for health equity: New hires and clinic initiatives at the NC Association of Free & Charitable Clinics are pushing health equity to the forefront. 
  1. UNC Health’s newest equity director talks about how to drive systemic change: Earlier this month, UNC Health announced Dr. Nicole Mushonga as its executive director for health equity. She speaks to the need for care providers to meet their patients where they are and invest in a culture of trust and accountability through community partnerships. 
  1. Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust to divest from tobacco, focus on health equity: The Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust, established at the bequest of the Winston-Salem tobacco heiress, will no longer invest in tobacco and will revise its grantmaking strategies to be more socially responsible with a focus on health equity. 

Economic Development: 

  1. Beyond Open offering grants for diverse-owned small businesses: Diverse small business owners can apply from Sept. 28 to Oct 28 for the first round of grants from $5,000 to $250,000 within the Beyond Open program. Eligible applicants are business owners in Charlotte-Mecklenburg who identify as a minority, woman, veteran or LGBTQ and can be non-profit or for-profit businesses. 
  1. Hourly Earnings Growth Slows in September: Hourly earnings growth for workers of U.S. small businesses slowed in September. The Small Business Job Index, which measures the rate of small business job growth, also slowed slightly from the previous month, but North Carolina remained the top state for small business growth. 
  1. New development heading to NoDa, small businesses worry about rising rent costs: A nearly 500,000 square foot development is set to break ground in NoDa by the end of the year, but some NoDa small businesses told WCNC these new additions could have a negative impact when it comes to rising rent. 
  1. Innovate Carolina launches new skill-building programs in Chatham: Innovate Carolina partners to provide programs at 79° West, a new coworking space and innovation hub in Pittsboro, to help people expand entrepreneurial skills and professional networks. 
  1. CVS Health announces HBCU supplier diversity partnerships: CVS announced three new partnerships with Historically Black Colleges and Universities including Morehouse College, Florida A&M University and North Carolina A&T University to boost supplier diversity. 

Educational Equity: 

  1. U.S. Department of Education Awards More Than $116 Million in Grants for Programs Focused on Equity and Accessibility for Students: The awards fund four new regional Equity Assistance Centers including the Southern Education Foundation that each provide technical assistance to public schools and other agencies focused on addressing equity in their community for students and the educators who support them related to race, sex, national origin, gender identity, disability, and religion. 
  1. Wake schools want to promote equity. Some critics say it’s ‘far-left’ and ‘socialist.’: Wake County’s focus on equity drew praise and criticism this week as the school district tries to develop a new policy it says will help educate students who’ve historically been marginalized. 
  1. Elon University to host LatinxEd, an N.C. educational equity and opportunity organization: LatinxEd seeks to invest in Latinx leadership and expanding educational equity and opportunity in North Carolina by reimagining equitable, inclusive learning environments that recognize, honor, and serve the diverse needs of the Latinx immigrant community. Previously hosted by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the educational nonprofit will relocate its operations to Elon’s campus. 
  1. U.S. Department of Education Communicates Vision to Advance Digital Equity for All Learners: New resource provides recommendations for equitable broadband adoption to support leaders crafting digital equity plans, an aspiration that became an emergency for many schools and families during the pandemic. 
  1. Why Black Professors and Other Faculty of Color Are Leaving NC State: Some mentioned pay equity. Others spoke of unequal work burdens. But one sentiment came up again and again: faculty members say they feel undervalued.