NC grants $2.7 million to eight communities hit by hurricanes

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Eight North Carolina communities hit hard by storms will get $2.7 million in special housing infrastructure grants to help develop more affordable housing, Gov. Roy Cooper said in a statement.

The 2019 Rural Housing Recovery Fund, established through a partnership between the North Carolina Department of Commerce and the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency (NCHFA), will help speed recovery in areas impacted by Hurricanes Matthew and Florence.

Funds will go to build infrastructure needed to develop affordable housing in Fayetteville, Goldsboro, Greenville, Havelock, Jacksonville, New Bern, Ayden and St. Pauls.

“North Carolina has been hit hard by hurricanes, but our people and our communities are strong and we’re working hard to recover,” Cooper said. “One thing the storms have shown us is that many parts of our state don’t have enough affordable housing. This grant will help more families have a safe and affordable place to call home.”

The Rural Housing Recovery Fund is available for new construction projects in local governments in economically distressed areas, classified as Tier 1 or Tier 2 counties under the 2019 North Carolina Development Tier Designations. Local governments can use the grants to design and build infrastructure for new affordable housing developments in communities that lack enough affordable housing. The grants can be used for water, sewer, roads, sidewalks, drainage, lighting, parking, high-speed internet and other infrastructure for affordable housing developments.

Rural development specialists from N.C. Commerce’s Rural Economic Development Division have been instrumental in establishing the program.

“This is a great opportunity to support rural communities with housing infrastructure at a time when they are working to recover and rebuild,” said Secretary of Commerce Anthony M. Copeland. “This funding will support the construction of 528 new affordable housing units and future community development.”

Award amounts were determined by the documented recovery housing need in the communities, the total cost of the infrastructure project and the number of proposed affordable units. The eight communities, all located in disaster-declared areas, will receive the following grants:

City of Fayetteville – $329,631.00
City of Goldsboro – $350,000.00
City of Greenville – $350,000.00
City of Havelock – $350,000.00
City of Jacksonville – $350,000.00
City of New Bern – $350,000.00
Town of Ayden – $315,800.00
Town of St. Pauls – $299,700.00

Grant recipients are required to have methods to ensure that the housing remains affordable for the period required by NCHFA and maintain policies that encourage and support the development of affordable housing. For additional information about N.C. Commerce’s Rural Economic Development Division, visit NCCommerce.com/rd.

Cooper’s proposed budget includes additional investments in affordable housing to help families and communities prosper. His plan adds an extra $2.3 million for the Housing Trust Fund, $20 million for the Workforce Housing Loan Program, $7.2 million for the Community Living Housing Fund to increase access to housing for people with disabilities, and $6.5 million for Rural Neighborhood Revitalization grants to help local governments improve neighborhoods.

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