Affordable Housing: Prescription For Safe Living

Jan 17, 2019

The cost of affordable housing in the Cape Fear region keeps on rising. Average rental prices jumped more than 5 percent in Wilmington last year, according to rental aggregator Apartment List. That’s above the rest of the state, and the country. The Cape Fear Housing Coalition addressed the issue at its annual housing and legislative breakfast this morning.

A recurring theme at the early morning meeting in Wilmington’s City Council Chambers was housing as a prescription. That you can’t achieve health, job, or substance abuse recovery, without first having safe, healthy, accessible housing. Suzanne Rogers is the community development and housing planner for the city of Wilmington.

“So now it's just moving those forward and finding partners to work with to make this happen. And of course with the hurricane, I think it just brought to light even more the problem that we're having in our community with affordable housing.” 

A standing room only audience was on hand for the affordable housing meeting
Credit Vince Winkel / WHQR Public Radio

But to fix that problem, things need to happen in Raleigh. Sam Gunter is the Executive Director of the North Carolina Housing Coalition.

“I think one of the other challenges we have in North Carolina is the folks that are, the majority party right now is led by a lot of folks who represent rural districts who don't think of housing as a crucial issue. So that is a challenge for us.”

He says the Republican caucus lost most of its urban elected officials, but that’s a challenge that local officials hope to overcome.

For WHQR News, I’m Vince Winkel.