A third of the population in New Hanover County pays more than they can afford for housing. That’s true for both homeowners and renters, but in the rental market, it’s worse. Nearly half -- about 46% of people who rent in New Hanover County pay more than a third of their income for housing. Some community leaders call that a clear sign of a shortage of affordable housing.
Often what comes to mind with the term “affordable housing” are images of bleak, run-down, tenement buildings with high crime rates. If that accurately described modern affordable housing, no one could fault homeowners for doing what they could to prevent such a project from coming to a neighborhood near them. But the conversation has evolved, and more stakeholders are recognizing the role that affordable housing plays in healthy economic growth.
It was early last year that an ad hoc committee jointly convened by the City of Wilmington and New Hanover County presented their findings. In separate presentations to both bodies, members of the Affordable Housing Committee made several recommendations. The number one recommendation: create a permanent Affordable Housing committee. Nearly a year later, there is no such thing.
Katrina Knight is the Executive Director of Good Shepherd Center, a local nonprofit that seeks to feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, and foster transition to housing. Member of Wilmington / New Hanover County Ad Hoc Committee on Affordable Housing
Stephen Spain is Executive Director of Cape Fear Habitat for Humanity, which builds and sells homes to hard-working people in need of decent and affordable housing. Cape Fear Habitat serves New Hanover, Pender, and Duplin Counties as part of a global, nonprofit housing organization. Member of Wilmington / New Hanover County Ad Hoc Committee on Affordable Housing
Suzanne Rogers is Community Development and Housing Planner for the City of Wilmington and a Member of Wilmington / New Hanover County Ad Hoc Committee on Affordable Housing
City of Wilmington:
Housing Rehabilitation Loan Program
The City of Wilmington offers several housing rehabilitation program options designed to address housing repairs, improvements and/or remove health and safety hazards of low-to-moderate homeowners within the corporate city limits of Wilmington.
The city also offers free technical assistance to the homeowner by preparing a detailed list of the repair work and soliciting bids for the repairs. Homeowners select the contractor and authorize all payments to the contractor after the work is satisfactorily completed. Please note that remodeling projects and home additions are not eligible uses of funds under this program.
Find out if you qualify for the Housing Rehabilitation Program by submitting the Rehabilitation Information Sheet and requested supplemental documentation to City of Wilmington Community Services Department.
Home Ownership Pool (HOP)
The City of Wilmington, in partnership with local banks, is pleased to offer the Home Ownership Pool (HOP) This loan program is available for low-to-moderate income households looking to achieve the benefit of home ownership.
Good Shepherd Center: http://www.goodshepherdwilmington.org/
Cape Fear Habitat For Humanity: http://www.capefearhabitat.org/