Perry Place, named in memory of Velma Perry

Introducing Perry Place!


In February and March 2021, CASA held a public naming contest for our newest Orange County community along Merritt Mill Rd. After receiving over 50 submissions, our panel of judges submitted their votes and chose a clear winner– Perry Place! Perry Place is named in memory of Velma Perry and was submitted by Hudson Vaughan of the Jackson Center, a dear friend and colleague of Ms. Perry’s.

Funding for land and predevelopment costs for Perry Place were provided by Orange County, Town of Chapel Hill, Town of Carrboro, and Strowd Roses. CASA was also awarded low income housing tax credits from the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency (NCHFA) for this property, as well as a 0% interest Workforce Housing loan. Perry Place will straddle the town border and will contain 48 1- and 2-bedroom apartments, 24 in Carrboro and 24 in Chapel Hill. The community will serve families and individuals earning less than 60% of the Area Median Income (AMI), and will contain amenities like a covered picnic area with tables and a grill, an ADA accessible playground, a multipurpose room, a resident computer center, and porches/balconies at each unit. Rental subsidies will be accepted for all units, and a portion of the apartments will be reserved for people living with disabilities.

Velma Perry was a Northside leader and activist, fighting hard to preserve her community. She lived in her same home in Chapel Hill for 98 years, and was a defining voice in her community. She fought for noise ordinances, trash rules, development regulations, and everything in-between. Ms. Perry was also a passionate affordable housing advocate. She served on EmPowerment’s board for several years and helped with the creation of the conservation districts in Northside and Pine Knolls nearby. Delores Bailey, EmPowerment’s Executive Director, says Ms. Perry would be “tickled-pink” to know she was honored in this way.

CASA has started construction on this community!


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(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)

The Groundbreaking


On April 14th, CASA held a small, socially distanced groundbreaking ceremony at First Baptist and Manley Estates, a senior affordable housing community across the street from the future Perry Place. In attendance at the ceremony were elected leaders from Chapel Hill, Carrboro, and Orange County, funding partners, and several distinguished community members. Because this was a small event, the ceremony was filmed so that everyone may be a part of the celebration.

Janie Alston, Velma Perry’s cousin and closest living heir, attended the ceremony and said Velma would be “so, so proud” to know this community was being named in her memory. Click here to watch the ceremony.

Keep up with construction updates on our blog and social media accounts

Merritt Mill Site Plan

Important Information for Prospective Tenants

  • 24 of the apartments will be located in Chapel Hill and 24 will be located in Carrboro.
  • Rents for the 1 and 2-bedroom apartments will range from $350 – $950 per month, based on the tenant’s household income
  • A portion of units will be reserved for people with disabilities.
  • Rental subsidies will be accepted for all units.

Construction has begun! While we are not yet accepting applications for these apartment units, please sign up for our email update list below. We will alert you via email when our applications for Perry Place open.