The Chapel Hill Town Council has approved a pilot plan to encourage town employees to live in Chapel Hill by providing them with financial assistance.

Methods of assistance include paying the security and utility deposits for rentals, helping with down payments for employees interested in buying a home, and providing more assistance with financial planning.

Mayor Pam Hemminger says the town wants to combat the idea that Chapel Hill employees cannot afford to live in town.

“We’re going to give this a try as a pilot, see if there’s interest, see if it works, and then come back with that information a year from now to figure out if this is great and everyone wants to do it, or if we have to find a better income source for it,” says Hemminger.

The pilot will cost just under $50,000 and will come from affordable housing funds.

The program will be advertised in town employee news letters and forums and participants will be kept anonymous.