Murphey School Senior Apartments
Raleigh, North Carolina
The Murphey School in Raleigh, N.C. has a rich history. As the oldest school in Raleigh, it was the site of peaceful school integration in 1960, setting the stage for integration across the state. By the late 1980s, however, due to its location and condition, the state was preparing to demolish the building. DHIC and community stakeholders worked together to push for legislation to preserve this important landmark. Through their efforts, the state leased the property to the City of Raleigh, which in turn leased it to DHIC. In 1990 DHIC undertook substantial renovations to repurpose the building and create deeply affordable housing for low-income seniors.
In 2011 DHIC wanted to make additional upgrades to the 48-unit property to keep it a desirable and comfortable place for its residents to live. They obtained a new CHC-financed permanent mortgage to finance the renovations. “We’ve worked with CHC on numerous occasions,” said Gregg Warren, president of DHIC. “They understand our projects even though they are typically complex and involve moving parts that must come together at a critical point in time, for instance, the timing of subsidies like tax credits.”
The refinance allowed DHIC to make significant enhancements to the property. The improvements included installation of solar panels for hot water, upgrades to the common areas and community kitchen, better handicap accessibility of the entrances and new community gardens for residents to enjoy. DHIC also built a library for residents and expanded office space for property management staff.Typical of the collaborative approach used by NeighborWorks® developers, DHIC partners with Resources for Seniors, a local nonprofit, to place a part-time service coordinator at the property to ensure that seniors at Murphey School receive an array of supportive services, including recreational activities, health screenings and nutritional support. This approach is seen as beneficial in helping seniors contain their cost of living while maintaining their independence.
“With the help of CHC and our other partners,” said Warren, “we are able to provide needed services for the vulnerable senior population while preserving a piece of history.”