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Affordable Housing

Judea Reform Congregation is actively committed to expanding access to dignified and affordable housing in the Triangle. For many years our congregants have helped build homes with Habitat for Humanity, advocated for fair and clean public low-income housing, and supported programming to lift families out of homelessness with Families Moving Forward (formerly Genesis Home). We also help furnish warm, welcoming apartments for new arriving refugees, support the Compass Center of Chapel Hill in providing safe housing for survivors of domestic violence, and partner with inter-faith groups in responding to the needs of local residents at risk of eviction and formerly incarcerated persons returning home.

The Pandemic and Affordable Housing 

(updated September 2021)

 

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted many ways in which affordable and dignified housing in our community is threatened. 

As the eviction moratorium ends, we predict that local courts will see an increase in landlord-tenant disputes - we know that more than 700 families residing in Durham Housing Authority Communities are behind on their rent and may be at risk of eviction. Learn more about eviction in Durham:  evictions INDY Week

Fortunately, Durham residents who are behind on their rent and facing eviction due to the COVID19 pandemic may apply for financial help to stay in their homes from the Durham Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP). Learn more about ERAP here! ERAP is a partnership between the City of Durham and Durham County governments funded with $9.6 million in federal funds from the U.S. Department of Treasury. Residents can receive assistance for a period of up to 12 months, which includes both arrears and forward rent and utilities.

What YOU Can Do

To join us in this critical and urgent work and make sure that Durham residents at risk of eviction are able to access ERAP funds and support, please reach out to SoniaL@judeareform.org

 

Sign Up for Eviction Court Watching

With the recent strike-down of the federal eviction moratorium, Durham CAN will resume its eviction court-watching campaign this September. When the campaign began in August of 2019, eviction filings began to drop. The simple action of listening in on proceedings provides necessary oversight and accountability over a harmful system that disproportionately affects Black women, especially single mothers. Fill out the interest form at the link to learn how to get involved with the Affordable Housing Eviction Team.

 

Sign up for Eviction Court Watching here.

 

Learn More about Affordable Housing in Durham

Durham is becoming increasingly unaffordable for many families who have lived here for generations; In 2020, Durham had the 2nd highest 2-bedroom rent increase in the country, at 46.8%.  At the current minimum wage, it would take a 98-hour work week to afford the average cost of rent. 

Nidhi Dhupati, an intern with Durham CAN and Duke Tech for Equity, researched housing choice vouchers and documented her findings in an informative website with interactive mapping features. Learn more, and view the map at our research website here.

Get Involved

Save the date and plan to join us November  10 at 7pm (online) for an introduction to Durham CAN specifically for Judea Reform members. This session will take the place of our normal Social Action Committee meeting with special guests Durham CAN’s lead organizer, leaders of CAN’s clergy caucus and action teams, and JRC members active with Durham CAN. Registration information coming soon. 

 

There are many way to Engage, Advocate, Build, Donate & Share 

Durham CAN

Affordable Housing Action Team

Judea Reform Congregation is an active member of the Affordable Housing Action Team of Durham CAN (Congregations Associations and Neighborhoods). Durham CAN is a local non-profit organization that organizes communities in Durham across religious, racial, and class lines for the public good. The Affordable Housing Action Team is actively involved in meeting with and advocating for residents of Durham Public Housing; attending city council meetings to represent the interests of affordable housing obstacles, concerns and accessibility for low-income residents; participating in national discussions and actions on the pending eviction crisis; and researching and reporting on the history of discrimination and systemic racism in housing in Durham and the effects of gentrification.


Families Moving Forward

Durham's family shelter, Families Moving Forward (formerly Genesis Home), provides shelter, child care, and skills training to families experiencing homelessness. Judea Reform congregants have quarterly supported providing meals and child-care so that parents can attend classes that build self-sufficiency skills. Families Moving Forward has a nationally recognized program in providing the skills, service, education and resources to enable families to secure viable housing.

Eviction Crisis Response

In partnership with Durham’s First Presbyterian Church Walk-in Ministry and Durham CAN we are working to address arrears and prevent evictions through facilitating the distribution of Federal Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) funds. Community engagement and support is essential to ensure that many of the families in Durham can access ERAP funds to stay afloat, especially those in DHA properties. Our beloved Durham community is on the verge of an eviction tsunami during an ongoing infectious disease pandemic. Please join us in this vital effort email socialaction@judeareform.org.


Refugee Apartments

Several times a year our congregants come together to furnish an apartment, assist with first month's rent and cook a meal for a newly arrived Refugee Family, organized by our Refugee Resettlement and Immigrant Justice Committee in partnership with Church World Service—Durham, Eno River Unitarian Universalist Fellowship and local neighborhood associations.

Habitat for Humanity

In the summer of 2021, Habitat for Humanity resumed it’s community build program, and with your help Judea Reform Congregation will continue a monthly 3-hour build. Habitat for Humanity builds houses and helps low income families make their down payment through work and sweat equity. The overall cost of a home is significantly decreased because Habitat’s acclaimed volunteer program reduces costs of labor. 

If you are looking for a rewarding, hands-on opportunity to help create low income housing, and help families begin to build the wealth needed to rise out of poverty, join us one afternoon a month!

Work will be assigned by your ability and honor any restrictions that you need to set. To get started, complete the volunteer form  https://www.durhamhabitat.org/volunteer. Use code JR to find and sign up for our builds. See our calendar for build dates. Email socialaction@judeareform.org  with “Habitat” in the subject line for more information.

Tue, November 30 2021 26 Kislev 5782