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CAPE FEAR MEMORIAL BRIDGE: Updates, resources, and context

City of Wilmington will get $2.5 million from HUD for housing

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Wilmington City Hall

The federal department of Housing and Urban Development is giving more than $2.5 million to the city of Wilmington to meet housing needs.

The federal government is investing $2.5 million through the Department of Housing and Urban Development. It's part of a tranche of about $5 billion that went to HUD from the American Rescue Plan Act.

The city is currently accepting comments for its plans for the funding, and it was required to consult with homeless service providers before moving forward. Those service providers shared data about the level of need in the community, and what services would be most valuable for the city to provide.

The result: investments in Permanent Supportive Housing. The city's Community Development and Housing Planner, Suzanne Rogers, said the planned allocation isn’t exactly a guarantee.

“There's no project identified. There's no entity identified. This is just based on what we've heard about our community and what folks have told us," she said. "They'd like to see these one-time funds used for permanent supportive housing.”

The hope is that the $2.1 million designated for housing production can be leveraged for even more investments to produce up to 66 units of Permanent Supportive Housing. The remaining funding would go to supportive services and capacity building for a non-profit, assuming a non-profit is involved in the allocation of these funds.

Permanent Supportive Housing is just the kind of housing advocates say is most badly needed to serve homeless residents. It provides a permanent home with no end to the lease agreement, plus supportive services to help stabilize the individual after a life of struggling in the streets.

According to advocates, the community likely needs at least 100 total units to meet the needs of all the chronically homeless in Wilmington- but non-profit entities in the area have plans to fill some of that need as well. Good Shepherd Center israising $20 million to build or preserve 71 units of PSH in Wilmington, and Eden Village will open with 31 unitsof PSH sometime this year. The ARPA allocation plan does not indicate whether it will support one of these existing efforts or assist with some new initiative.

Wilmington City Council will hold a public hearing on the use of these funds on March 7, and residents can share their comments ahead of time can submit comments here.

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.