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Cape Fear Habitat for Humanity set to construct three new affordable housing projects

Cape Fear Habitat for Humanity will develop affordable housing on three properties donated by the city of Wilmington.

Cape Fear Habitat for Humanity will build affordable housing units in three properties on the Northside of Wilmington, after city council voted unanimously to donate the land in their meeting Tuesday night.

The three properties are 610 North 8th Street, 701 Red Cross Street, and 708 Swann Street. All were declared surplus property in 2016.

The city voted in 2015 to give priority to affordable housing projects when deciding what to do with surplus land. But these three properties were only recently considered because of changes to the city's land development code — now, off-street parking is no longer required for the sites to be developed, meaning they’re viable for Habitat for Humanity.

Lauren McKenzie, director of Cape Fear Habitat for Humanity, said the organization hopes to have families moving into the developments in 2024.

She said the neighbors have been notified of the development plans, and the community has been supportive.

“Especially on the Northside, what we see are neighbors coming out and supporting new homeownership opportunities," McKenzie said. "And so the community comes out, they help us volunteer, they offer resources, and really accommodate what habitat is trying to do and the affordable housing community.”

McKenzie said the change in development code isn’t a big worry for parking availability, as the units aren’t expected to have more than one or two vehicles each.

The units will serve people making 30-80% AMI, or 30-80% of the midpoint of our area’s income distribution.

Grace Vitaglione is a multimedia journalist, recently graduated from American University. I’m attracted to issues of inequity and my reporting has spanned racial disparities in healthcare, immigration detention and college culture. In the past, I’ve investigated ICE detainee deaths at the Investigative Reporting Workshop, worked on an award-winning investigative podcast and produced student-led video stories.