We are publishing statements made during the May 24, 2023 public hearing on the Town’s housing choices proposal. In some cases, these statements may not exactly match the comments made during the meeting.

Hi, my name is Jasmine Davidson.

I am the Director of Environmental Affairs with the UNC Graduate and Professional Student Government, though I am speaking on my own behalf this evening. 

Thank you mayor, council, and staff for your patience in hearing all of us out. 

I strongly support the housing choices proposal.

Long commutes are awful for personal well-being and for the environment, as noted by several speakers earlier this evening. Allowing more housing in single-family neighborhoods will allow for more people to live closer to where they work and spend recreational time . 

Only homeowners are benefiting from the status quo. Home values have increased 22% in the last year. Renters did not share in any of that financial gain.

Instead, my landlord justified his $110 increase in rent this year as “that’s just the market.” This is unacceptable and unsustainable for maintaining a diverse community. The proposed rezoning will help address this issue. 

I moved here 10 months ago. My needs and the needs of students like me are incredibly important to the town. I resent the implication of some comments that I cannot, that other students cannot, understand the town’s context and challenges. We can. And we are part of the community, too.

We have spent plenty of time studying this amendment. Any more efforts to “study” are really just efforts to indefinitely delay. 

Frankly, this is a small change. Of course Chapel Hill must do more for affordable housing. But this is an important first step.

Change is scary. But it is necessary to make Chapel Hill a more welcoming, diverse, and vibrant place. 

Thank you.

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