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Advocates say Wilmington, NHC still behind curve on an affordable housing bond

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City of Wilmington/New Hanover County
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On Thursday, January 28th, the Cape Fear Housing Coalition hosted their annual Legislative Breakfast online. They returned to a theme from last year: other cities’ success in creating affordable housing bonds, which the Cape Fear region has yet to adopt. 

During the meeting, the presenters talked about Raleigh passing an $80 million housing bond last November. Charlotte did too, one worth $50 million. They even brought up Fayetteville’s plan to have one sometime in the next year or so. 

Katrina Knight is the executive director of the Good Shepherd Center, and she played host for the breakfast.

“I think for our community, we often feel like well, we’re not a Charlotte, we’re not a Raleigh, we’re not Greensboro. It’s kind of humbling to hear that we’re behind even Fayetteville in very seriously looking at and planning for a housing bond. That’s tough to hear, that we’re that far behind so many of our peers in North Carolina.” 

One of the presenters, Cynthia Blue, the manager of the housing services division for the City of Greensboro, shared one of the reasons why their first $25 million housing bond passed in 2016.

“It was a very intentional campaign. And there were four separate bonds on that referendum. There was transportation, parks and recreation, economic development, and housing. And instead of having interest groups pick off and support one bond versus another bond, the intention on all parties was to promote all four bonds equally.”

Blue said her division is gearing up to support a new $50 million bond in the coming year. She did note that conservative critics had pushed back against the previous bond, saying housing was not a city-county service.

Governor Roy Cooper also announced he’d like to see a statewide affordable housing bond worth $500 million on the ballot this November.

 

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See document below for a list of available local affordable housing programs:

2021 Legislative Breakfast Housing Agency Updates by Ben Schachtman on Scribd