News Release from CASA
ORANGE COUNTY, NC – CASA is pleased to announce that they have broken ground on their newest community in Orange County. The site is located along South Merritt Mill Road and straddles the border of Chapel Hill and Carrboro. When completed, the community will be named Perry Place in memory of Northside leader and activist, Velma Perry.
CASA was awarded Low Income Housing Tax Credits from the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency (NCHFA) for this community, as well as a 0% interest Workforce Housing Loan. Additional funding for the land and predevelopment costs for Perry Place were provided by Orange County, the Town of Chapel Hill, the Town of Carrboro, and Strowd Roses, Inc.
When completed, CASA's Perry Place community will provide safe, affordable, permanent apartments to 48 households. The community will consist of 48 one- and two-bedroom apartment units for individuals and families living under 60% of the Area Median Income (AMI). A portion of the apartments will be reserved for people living with disabilities.
For nearly two months, CASA held a community-wide naming contest and received over 50 submissions from the public. Their panel of judges included Chapel Hill Mayor Pam Hemminger, Carrboro Mayor Lydia Lavelle, Board of County Commissioners Chair Renee Price, and Caroline Pence of Strowd Roses. The name Perry Place was submitted by Hudson Vaughan of the Jackson Center, a colleague and dear friend of Ms. Perry’s.
Velma Perry was a community leader and activist who lived in her same home in Chapel Hill for 98 years. She served on EmPowerment’s board for several years and helped with the creation of the conservation districts in Northside and Pine Knolls nearby. Ms. Perry was also a passionate affordable housing advocate, and CASA is honored to be memorializing her in this way.
The small, socially distanced groundbreaking was held on Wednesday, April 14, 2021, at First Baptist and Manley Estates, a senior affordable housing community across the street from the future Perry Place. In attendance was Janie Alston, Velma Perry’s cousin and closest living heir. Ms. Alston says Ms. Perry would be “so, so proud” to know this community was named after her.
“Twenty years ago, when I joined CASA, I only imagined that we would build affordable housing in my hometown of Chapel Hill. Now, on the eve of my retirement, I’m overjoyed with the reality of a beautiful, new apartment community right here. I know it will lead to a more welcoming and more inclusive Orange County.” says Mary Jean Seyda, CASA’s CEO.
Photo Caption (Left to Right): Caroline Pence (Strowd Roses), Janie Alston, Renee Price (Orange County Board of Commissioners), Damon Seils (Carrboro Town Council), Mayor Pam Hemminger (Chapel Hill), and Mary Jean Seyda (CASA CEO) break ground at Perry Place
CASA is a non-profit affordable housing developer and property manager whose mission is to provide access to stable, affordable housing for people who are homeless or at risk by developing and managing rental communities. Since 1992, CASA has focused on building and managing affordable housing for low-income families, individuals living with disabilities, and veterans. CASA actively manages nearly 500 affordable apartments and homes in Wake, Durham, and Orange counties and has plans to double its portfolio over the next few years. For more information, visit https://www.casanc.org/ CASA is on Facebook Instagram.