Our housing justice and advocacy efforts are directly informed by the experiences and concerns of Northside residents.

The Northside neighborhood has been experiencing a decline in African-American homeownership for several decades due to increasing demand for student rentals, rising property taxes, the financial burden of renovations and repairs for older homes, and aggressive investing practices. Residents, community organizations, and Town of Chapel Hill staff and elected officials have worked together for over 25 years on policies, regulations, and community development strategies to address the challenges the community is facing. Residents cite concerns that investors are expanding old homes or building new ones designed specifically to house multiple students and express a desire to maintain the family atmosphere of the neighborhoods through the development of rental and homeownership opportunities that are affordable to families.

Neighborhood mapping efforts show a sharp increase in investor-owned properties (in red) in Northside from 2000-2018:

Our Housing Justice & Advocacy Model

The Jackson Center is committed to a model of self-determination we call community-first organizing. Community-first organizing is led by a bottom-up logic entrusted to those who know not only the history and culture of their neighborhoods but who have earned leadership and know policy in practice. Our role is to facilitate and organize the full expression of community knowledge, wisdom, and vision. Learn more about our community-first organizing model.

The Jackson Center’s Northside Neighborhood Initiative is a broad-based partnership effort to control the dirt in Northside, have neighbors determine the future of properties, and preserve the future of this diverse, family-friendly neighborhood. The Northside neighborhood has organized to encourage responsible development that meets the needs of the community. Since 2015, the Northside Neighborhood Initiative has preserved the future of Northside through several initiatives designed to facilitate retention, transition, acquisition, and community engagement. Learn more about the Northside Neighborhood Initiative.

We take direction from the Northside Compass Group, our primary leadership group comprised of neighbors from all across Northside. Accountable to community interests, the Northside Compass Group develops neighborhood strategy, guides our community landbank, and leads efforts to preserve the future of Northside. Learn more about the Northside Compass Group.


87 critical home repairs

for critical safety and accessibility needs 

900+ connections

between Northside neighbors and UNC students through community events in 2022-2023.

53 quality affordable housing units

complete or under development with five housing partners

239 property tax grants

awarded to elderly households with an average tenure of 56 years in Northside

Land bank efforts have stabilized investor encroachment in Northside.

Our 2021 Northside Census found that the student vs. non-student balance in the neighborhood has stayed relatively stable since the 2015 creation of the Northside Neighborhood Initiative.

42 properties

purchased through Landbank since 2015. Protecting these properties from investor encroachment enabled us to welcome 51 new families to Northsid

80+ estate plans

and end-of-life documents created or updated by local residents since 2012 to determine important future wishes, including land loss prevention of Northside properties

2800+ grocery boxes

packed by service partners and distributed to Northside community members in the past year.

400+ UNC students volunteer

each year through our student engagement initiative, learning the history under their feet. Noise/nuisance violations have been reduced by over 75%!