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Cape Fear Collective announces partnership to bring back supportive housing at Driftwood

Benjamin Schachtman

Cape Fear Collective has announced a partnership with two local housing organizations in its rehabilitation of low-income permanent supportive housing.

Wilmington could see an additional 15 units of permanent supportive housing for the neediest this winter: an incremental step towards the 100-125 units advocates say the region needs.

Cape Fear Collective (CFC) bought Driftwood for $1.2 million last year from Wilmington Housing Finance and Development, a non-profit which evicted most of the low-income tenants of the property before the sale went through.

Once the 15-unit building sold, however, CFC kept the remaining two tenants in place, and began looking to renovate the apartments.

Today, CFC announced partnerships with Norco Property Management and Good Shepherd Center to keep Driftwood on track. Norco manages affordable housing in North and South Carolina, while Good Shepherd Center is best known for permanent supportive housing and homeless shelters.

CFC CEO Meaghan Dennison says the non-profit’s goal is to get those badly needed permanent supportive housing units back online as soon as possible.

“It will be a priority for Good Shepherd and our team to reach out to anyone that may have been displaced by Driftwood to see if they need or would prefer an opportunity to relocate back to Driftwood upon renovations being completed,” she said.

Otherwise, the spots will be reserved for the chronically homeless, and their rent will be capped at 30% of their income. CFC plans to begin renovations soon, with Driftwood set to re-open in the winter.

Once the property is up and running again, there will be an active case manager on site to help residents with their daily needs, ranging from medical appointments to help with paperwork. The addition of Driftwood's apartments will bring the total number of supportive housing units in Wilmington above 100, although advocates at Good Shepherd say the total need may be double that.

But several other planned projects in the near future may bring that number up even further — even as housing grows more expensive each month.

Kelly Kenoyer is an Oregonian transplant on 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.