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Despite our vibrant local economy, we have citizens who struggle to pay their rent or mortgage

payments. To better address housing challenges, City Council adopted the Affordable Housing

Improvement Plan in October 2015. The plan lays out several strategies to preserve and increase

the affordable housing supply. One strategy to address the City’s shortage of affordable rental units

is to provide gap financing to developers seeking to construct or preserve affordable rental housing.

However, we will need additional resources to fund the approved Affordable Housing Improvement

Plan, which is discussed below.

Arts and Cultural Resources

The Proposed Budget invests significantly in Raleigh’s cultural resources, enhancing

current services and funding future opportunities.

The Proposed CIP includes three new government facilities, including a new civic

campus, fire station and administrative space, and police training center. Following our Half-Percent

for Art program, these three capital projects will generate roughly $850,000 for the Public Art and

Design Board to allocate to new art projects. The Proposed Budget also creates an additional art

exhibit curator position to enhance our public art program.

In the operating budget, we propose funding monthly editions of Oak City Sessions, our monthly

RTN series highlighting local musical talent, at an annual cost of $70,000. In addition, we will

enhance our historic preservation efforts with an additional preservation planner position and fund a

survey of historic properties for potential inclusion in the National Historic Register.

In Summer 2015, the City acquired the 308 acre Dorothea Dix property from the State for $52

million. The Dix property will, ultimately, become a premier park and cultural facility. The Proposed

Budget includes funding to begin master planning this Summer. The City recently entered into an

agreement with the Dix Park Conservancy to raise funds to cover future master planning costs.

Funding the debt service on the property acquisition requires additional resources—this need is

discussed below.

Economic Development and Innovation

To maintain a diverse and vibrant economy, we propose investing new resources in

the Economic Development and Innovation Key Focus Area.

As part of the Proposed Budget, we re-brand our economic development unit as the

Office of Economic Development and Innovation. This better reflects our current efforts to foster

innovation within the City. The budget also funds two new positions in this Office to expand our

City’s marketing efforts, promote more diverse retail choices, and provide additional research

support.

The City’s Economic Development Toolkit includes a new Building Upfit Grant to help property

owners and small business owners improve buildings throughout the City, and encourage new retail

development and other uses. Staff continue to refine criteria and policies to use in awarding these

grants. The Proposed Budget provides $500,000 annually for this new program, should City Council

approve it.

As in last year’s adopted budget, the Proposed Budget provides new resources to serve our

development community. Staff continue to implement EnerGov, our new web-based planning and

permitting system. The Proposed Budget funds the system’s ongoing maintenance and licensing

costs. In addition, we will add positions in our Development Services department, including:

Two positions to fully staff a major projects team focusing on large-scale building projects,

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