By Tim Buckland Star News Staff
Posted on Nov 4, 2017 at 9:52AM
OGDEN — New Hanover County and Wilmington have teamed up with Cape Fear Habitat for Humanity on a project to build 27 new workforce housing units on Gordon Road.
“We’ll have 27 new workforce housing units,” said Commissioner Skip Watkins, who engineered the three-pronged agreement. “For me, it was an easy win-win project.”
Workforce and affordable housing has been identified as a critical issue facing the region — a committee recently found a shortage of housing at prices affordable to a significant percentage of county and city residents.
According to the agreement, the county will contribute $212,463 and the city will kick in $60,000 to extend water and sewer lines to the new development.
County Manager Chris Coudriet said the public contribution means the nonprofit agency can do more with the project, which will be built in the 6300 block of Gordon Road.
“I thought it was a good opportunity to partner with a nonprofit who is going to develop workforce housing,” he said.
Habitat officials said the contribution will allow the agency to extend water and sewer service to the 14 existing homes in the development at no cost to the homeowners, who otherwise would have been required to tap into utility services, officials said. According to the agency, its program will aim to offer ownership opportunities to people earning between 40 percent and 80 percent of the area’s median income — or $27,280 to $54,560 annually.
Prospective owners “must invest their own time and energy, or ‘sweat equity,’ into building their home,” according to county documents.
“We’re particularly excited about the upcoming 27 home project on Daniel Boone Trail, off Gordon Road. Low to moderate income homeowners will put in hundreds of hours of sweat equity each while building their own and others’ homes. When built out, Habitat homeowners there will be paying over $21,000 a year in property taxes,” Cape Fear Habitat for Humanity Executive Director Steve Spain said in an email. “The partnership between Habitat, the County, and the City is a model for how government and private organizations can work together to address the critical shortage of affordable housing in our region.”
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