Carrboro Planning Board Chair Bethany Chaney has worked for two decades with non-profits dedicated to community and economic development.

She says that’s what makes her the best candidate for Carrboro’s Board of Aldermen.

“I do have affordable housing experience that, right now, is lacking on the Board,” says Chaney.

She’ll run against Theresa Watson and Talal Asad in the May 6 special election, to fill the seat left vacant by Lydia Lavelle when she became mayor.

Chaney was appointed to the Planning Board in October 2011. Recently, the Board of Aldermen re-appointed her.

She also serves on the Board of Aldermen’s Affordable Housing Task Force, as well as the Orange County Affordable Housing Coalition.

Chaney says that, as an alderperson, she’d work to make Carrboro affordable across a diverse spectrum.

“I think affordability, in general, is a big issue – but affordable housing being the number-one issue,” she says. “We pride ourselves on being a community that is diverse, is creative, that values people from all walks of life.

“But the more we become a cool community to be in, the more expensive it becomes to live here.”

Chaney still works as a consultant for non-profit organizations, and says that her longtime experience could have useful applications in growing Carrboro’s commercial development, as well as holding on to affordable housing.

“I’ve learned a lot about federal programs and incentives that are available to non-profit organizations, to for-profit developers and to municipalities to encourage public-private partnerships,” she says.

She’s especially interested in a low-income housing tax credit, like one being discussed in Chapel Hill for a proposed development in the Ephesus-Fordham area.

Chaney also likes a new-market tax credit to encourage commercial growth in low-income areas.

In the coming weeks, WCHL and will be talking to candidates in all local elections.