RALEIGH N.C. – Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC) announced it is investing $350,000 in Community Home Trust (CHT) to transform affordable apartments at The Landings at Winmore into healthier, more sustainable living spaces for Orange County. The investment is part of the company’s ongoing commitment to address drivers of health and improve living conditions for North Carolinians by increasing access to stable, affordable housing.
In Orange County, where housing costs are higher than the North Carolina average, 90 percent of renter households with annual incomes lower than $35,000 are cost burdened – meaning they pay more than 30 percent of their gross income on rent. The Landings, most of whose residents are considered low-income, contains 58 affordable apartments in four buildings. The Community Home Trust anticipates that rents will remain affordable for decades to come, benefiting an estimated 500 future residents.
“Without access to affordable housing, many North Carolinians don’t have enough money left over to pay for necessities, such as food, transportation or medical care,” said Reagan Greene Pruitt, Vice President of Marketing & Community Engagement at Blue Cross NC. “This funding will help transform The Landings into a healthier, safer and affordable place to live for the long-term.”
When housing units are unsafe due to hazards like mold, mildew, poor air quality and inadequate lighting, residents suffer greater health risks, including chronic diseases and injuries. Over the course of three years, the building renovations at The Landings will create a healthier living environment, reduced energy and utility consumption, and greater personal safety for residents. Some upgrades include inspecting and cleaning out all HVAC ducts and replacing any HVAC units that fail, enhancing the fire suppression systems, replacing old ranges with sensor technology ranges, replacing all carpeting with vinyl plank flooring and adding additional outdoor lighting.
“This investment by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina will be transformative to the residents of The Landings,” said Robert Dowling, executive director of Community Home Trust. “When we acquired the property two years ago, it was losing money and suffering from years of deferred maintenance. Although we have made great progress turning the property around, we simply lack the resources to make the changes we envisioned. The investment by Blue Cross NC will enable us to make The Landings a healthier and safer place for residents, for decades to come.”
About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina improves the health and well-being of our customers and communities by providing innovative health care products, services and information to more than 3.9 million members, including approximately 1.1 million served on behalf of other Blue Plans. Since 1933, we have worked to make North Carolina a better place to live through our support of community organizations, programs and events that promote good health. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Visit Blue Cross online at bluecrossnc.com. All other marks are the property of their respective owners.
About the Community Home Trust
Community Home Trust seeks to strengthen our community with permanently affordable housing opportunities. The Home Trust sells homes using a 99-year ground lease in order to keep its homes affordable in perpetuity. The first Home Trust home was sold in June 2000. Our homeowners include university employees, teachers and others who serve our community but otherwise could not afford to own a home here. In December 2017, the Home Trust acquired The Landings at Winmore, a 58-unit affordable rental development in Carrboro. The Landings, whose tenants earn less than 60% of the area median income, accepts Housing Choice vouchers. Community Home Trust’s inventory of affordable homes totals 322 as of November 30, 2019.