Raleigh, N.C. — Local officials on Tuesday kicked off construction on one of the largest affordable housing projects ever in Wake County.

The Washington Terrace project, on Hill Street near St. Augustine’s University, will include 162 affordable apartments and townhomes, 72 apartments for low-income seniors, a community center and a child care center by early 2019, officials said.

DHIC, a nonprofit that specializes in affordable housing, purchased the former Washington Terrace complex, Raleigh’s oldest apartment community for black residents, in 2014 with plans to redevelop the site. It is partnering with the city, the county, state and federal agencies and Wells Fargo on the $44 million project.

“There’s a need for 56,000 affordable housing units in Wake County today. That’s going to grow to over 150,000 units in the next 20 years, which is why it’s so important for us to be here.” said Sig Hutchinson, chairman of the Wake County Board of Commissioners.

Raleigh is providing about 20 percent of the funding, using for the first time the portion of the local property tax city officials dedicated last year to fund affordable housing projects.

The project will eventually include a third phase of apartments and townhouses for people earning less than the median income in the county, and developers said they also plan to have houses and townhouses for sale in the adjacent East College Park neighborhood for people with higher incomes.

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