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Media Release

Durham’s Newest Affordable Housing Development, Willard Street Apartments, Celebrates Its Grand Opening

A first-of-its-kind in North Carolina, this truly transit-oriented affordable housing development provides much needed options for people with moderate incomes or making less than a living wage

Sep 21, 2021

Due to COVID-19, and capacity limitations of the venue, this event is by invitation only and not open to the public. Media is invited to attend.


What:   Celebrating the grand opening of Willard Street Apartments, a first-of-its-kind, transit-oriented affordable housing development that has now reached full capacity. Located in downtown Durham, adjacent to transit and multiple employment opportunities, Willard Street offers 82 new apartment homes to over 117 residents with modest incomes.  

This celebration will also include the dedication of the Willard Street Apartments Plaza in honor of Dr. Phail Wynn, Jr. for his tireless service to the Durham community and as a champion for affordable housing. The plaza provides community space and other amenities for apartment residents.

When:  Thursday, September 30, 2021, 1 - 2:30 p.m.

Who:    Speakers include:

  • Mayor Steve Schewel
  • Willard Street resident, ReNée Valentine
  • President Vincent Price of Duke University
  • Yolanda Winstead, President of DHIC, Inc.
  • Crystal German, President of the Center for Community Self-Help

Where: 481 Willard Street, Durham NC 27701

Why:     Developed jointly by two nonprofits, Raleigh-based DHIC and Durham-based Self-Help, Willard Street Apartments is one of the first truly transit-oriented affordable housing development in North Carolina.  It provides residents with direct access to Durham’s main bus hub and it is a block from Amtrak and future commuter rail.

Willard Street Apartments offers much-needed affordable rental housing in the heart of downtown Durham, where rents have been rising quickly. The apartments are perfect for working families providing excellent access to jobs, services, and recreation.  It sits on just 1.25 acres of land, built over structured parking, situated adjacent to the Durham Station transportation center.  The development was built on previously City-owned land that was vacant for years.

The residential development was completed in March.  All units are fully leased with a wait list, serving a wide range of residents who work in jobs like childcare, health services, facilities maintenance, service sector and other highly needed but lower paid fields.  Twenty-one of the apartments, serving households earning no more than 30% AMI, are reserved for lease to Durham Housing Authority residents through a partnership with the agency.


Jenny Shields, APR I Director of Public and Media Relations I Center for Community Self-Help I 301 W. Main Street Durham, North Carolina 27701