Place Based Grass Roots Groups Political Action Web

This is the Housing section of the Carrboro Energy Descent Action Plan.

The Present[]

Housing capacity in Carrboro has grown rapidly over the last number of years but unfortunately without any sustainable planning practices. There are several developments dotted around the town and its environs mainly made up of apartments and housing estates. Further similar developments appear to be in the pipeline. It is fair to say that no sustainable building practices have been applied to the houses that have been built and that this also applies to future developments in Carrboro. This results in houses that are extremely dependent on fossil fuels for heating, which expose their inhabitants to unhealthy and sometimes toxic materials, which are very expensive and do little to encourage sustainable lifestyles or community development. Also, much of Chapel Hill’s existing housing stock has very poor levels of energy efficiency, resulting in a far higher per capita energy consumption than can be sustained into the future.

The Vision[]

Carrboro is a town where many people want to come and live, which puts Carrboro in the fortunate position of being able to set a standard or strong position in relation how it sees itself providing affordable sustainable houses/buildings. By 2021 all new buildings in Carrboro will include such things as a high level of energy efficiency together with a high portion of local sustainable materials used by local craftsmen/women. Houses will be of an appropriate size, and built to last. Carrboro will lead the way in providing attractive, progressive and pioneering developments, which other communities can also learn from and be inspired by.

New housing in Carrboro in 2021 will provide not just the fundamentals of shelter and heat but also the added benefit of building a community with a myriad of connections to local people.

The existing housing stock has been retrofitted, made as efficient as possible.

Local resources[]

Practical Steps:[]

Currently In Place[]

Carrboro is a progressive town and has already implemented many steps toward sustainabale housing such as:


  • Undertake a review of current building practices and future development plans for Carrboro.
  • Organize an Open Space Event and invite anyone with any involvement in all aspects of housing in Carrboro to participate. Invite Consumers and Developers/Builders. Publish results.
  • The Open Space Event would lead on to the production of the Action Plan to promote sustainable housing for Carrboro.
  • This would involve local architects, local housing authority, and local builders etc. Consult widely with existing organizations.
  • Action Plan needs to look at a wide range of things, such as:

• energy conservation and efficiency strategies

• renewable energy options

• ecological building techniques

• proven historical natural building techniques in Chapel Hill

• affordable housing

• the role of existing organisations

• a set of recommendations for a Sustainable Housing Strategy for Carrboro.

• Town Council introduce a new policy insisting on mixed dwellings in developments, i.e. Retirement homes, large family houses/small units for single occupancy. This will give a ‘social mix’ of different socio economical groups.

  • Arrange meetings with appropriate bodies to discuss the incorporation of this Action Plan into all future housing developments for Carrboro.