We’re reprinting some of our favorite public comments from the public hearing on the housing choices proposal held by Chapel Hill Town Council on January 25, 2023. The following comments were made by Nancy Lovas, a resident of Carrboro.

My name is Nancy Lovas. I am speaking in support of the proposed amendments to the Land Use Management Ordinance. I have lived in Chapel Hill/Carrboro for nearly four years, and I moved here for more urban walkability than I found living in South Durham. In 2021, I purchased a condo as a single income household. This was by sheer luck of timing and the privilege of family support.

My friends and neighbors who are renters are increasingly being priced out of their homes or unable to afford to buy a home–because the existing housing stock does not meet their need for a small “starter home” and because the existing housing stock is too expensive. Amending the LUMO to more readily permit the building of “missing middle” housing is the right way forward.

I don’t have numbers and data for you tonight, but I am here as a homeowner to be a witness to the hardships caused by continually moving in search of housing that fits the budget. I myself moved 5 times in 2.5 years in search of safe housing that I could afford. I am also a witness to the community built around a common court. I have lived in 2 neighborhoods with multifamily or non-detached homes–in a rowhouse in Southeast D.C. and now in a condo complex around a central space. We sit on our porches in good weather, saying hello as neighbors walk past. When the weather freezes, we can check on each other’s water pipes. When the neighbor’s baby is sick, I can pick up groceries. As a current resident and homeowner in a “middle housing” community, I wish this community life experience were possible for many more. Thank you.

In the last municipal election cycle, we helped increase turnout by over 20 percent. We're all volunteers who care deeply about Chapel Hill and Carrboro, and we're working to make Chapel Hill and Carrboro more vibrant, accessible, fun, and sustainable.  Please consider a small donation to help us keep our digital lights on, host events, and hire students to do data deep-dives.