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New Hanover County will spend nearly $2 million in ARP funds on Carolina Beach Road affordable housing project

Starway Village Site Plan
Starway Village will replace a flea market at 2346 Carolina Beach Rd.

The money will help bring nearly 300 units of affordable housing to Carolina Beach Road.

New Hanover County is kicking almost $2 million into an affordable housing project on Carolina Beach Road.

The development will include 278 units of affordable housing, with one-bedrooms set renting for $754 per month, and three-bedroom units for under $1000. Those rents are significantly below market rate.

The developers are beholden to that lower rent threshold because they’re financing the project through a federal tax credit program. But the project isn’t financially feasible without buy-in from local governments.

The City of Wilmington is set to devote another $3.5 million to the project at its first meeting in November. Both government bodies will pay for the project through American Rescue Plan Act funds, and will be used to leverage another $53 million in funding.

County Commissioner Deb Hayes supported the project, but first made a point about the kinds of people who would live there.

"People are confusing workforce housing, with public housing, and I want to make sure this is 100% workforce housing," Hays said. "The thought behind that is to have teachers and nurses assistants and law enforcement officers in this community. That is the targeted group to support the workforce in our community.”

The project will replace Starway Flea Market, and should connect to Maryland Avenue and Carolina Beach Road, according to current site plans.

The county commission ultimately voted unanimously to fund the venture, and will spend nearly $1.9 million backing the project. This accounts for more than half of the $3.5 million dollars in ARP funds the county had set aside to encourage affordable housing by covering water and sewer costs.

Kelly Kenoyer is an Oregonian transplant new to the East Coast. She attended University of Oregon’s School of Journalism as an undergraduate, and later received a Master’s in Journalism from University of Missouri- Columbia. Contact her on Twitter @Kelly_Kenoyer or by email: KKenoyer@whqr.org.