New Hanover County lays out criteria for $3-million annual affordable housing funding plan
New Hanover County has promised $3 million annually to fill the gap in affordable housing. The county is expected to have a deficit of 10,000 units by 2030.
New Hanover County has announced its criteria for the $3 million it has promised for affordable housing in this year’s budget.
The money has been allocated from the general fund, and county staff have developed a point-based evaluation system to choose projects. Projects will receive a maximum of $1.5 million each, so there will be at least two projects in the coming year.
The county has prioritized projects that will break ground before July of next year, be affordable for at least 15 years, and accept housing choice vouchers.
The county also will give special consideration to very affordable projects, for those residents making under 50% or under 30% of the area median income, or AMI. But all projects will need to be affordable for those making 80% AMI.
Estimates of median income vary, and they fluctuate with the job market and the arrival of new residents but, currently, New Hanover County's AMI is around $57,000 for an individual, and somewhere around $90,000 for a family of four. So affordable
housing projects could cover a lot of income ranges, from single-bedroom units aimed at those making $45,000 (roughly 80% AMI) to two- or three-bedroom units or houses aimed at a family of four making $27,000 (30% AMI).
The county will look closely at the financial viability of proposed projects and will give preference to organizations that have handled affordable housing before. Both for-profit and non-profit organizations can apply to the request for proposals, and the money will become available after the first of July.
Those proposals will be reviewed by staff, then the Wilmington-New Hanover County workforce housing advisory committee, and finally the board of commissioners for allocation approval in October.
The presentation of the plan is available on this recording of the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners meeting, beginning at 1:05:45.