This week on The Newsroom: What's the way forward for affordable housing in New Hanover County?
Years of committees, surveys, and studies culminated in a big push for a $50 million housing bond — with elected officials, advocates, and developers all seemingly on board. Then, the idea abruptly died, killed in part by political concerns about raising taxes during an election season. So — now what?
Since 2016, New Hanover County and the City of Wilmington have supported joint committees, several studies, and surveys of public opinion. Last year, that boiled down to one thing: an ambitious housing bond on the ballot.
But the political winds shifted quickly, and a majority of county commissioners — who would need to approve a bond measure before the general public could vote on it — now say they don't want to raise taxes to pay for a bond, especially since the county has a massive $350 million reserve (which requires at least four out of five commissioners to tap into).
This week, co-hosts Kelly Kenoyer and Ben Schachtman break down how we got here and what stakeholders are saying now — including those in the non-profit sector, for-profit developers, and those on the county commission, in whose hands the choice ultimately rests.