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New Hanover County's $3 million affordable housing program open for bids

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New Hanover County is seeking proposals for how to spend its $3 million investment for affordable housing this year.

After the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners decided not to put a $50 million housing bond on the ballot, commissioners said they’d invest $15 million instead, over the course of 5 years.

The first $3 million of that should be spent this fiscal year, and the deadline to apply is August 8.

Rachel LaCoe, the county’s senior long-range planner, says this year they’re focused on building new housing.

“For this round, we have set a maximum of $1.5 million per project," she said. "And that way, we could have at least two. We're not putting all our eggs in one basket and it gives us a little variety.”

The aim is to provide money to “shovel ready projects,” she said. Building new housing is one of the county’s priorities for the funding. But in future years, the money may go to protecting and rehabilitating older affordable homes, or go towards programs that subsidize low-income homeowners and renters.

For more information and for qualified applicants to put in a bid, go to finance.nhcgov.com.

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.