Wilmington approves $9 million grant for affordable housing

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North Carolina Construction News staff writer

A Wilmington affordable housing project has been awarded a $9 million grant from the North Carolina Office of Recovery and Resilience, bringing the public funding total to more than $16 million.

“Through these partnerships with local and state agencies, we’re able to diminish the gap between the demand for affordable housing and the local supply,” Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo said. “Starway Village is filling a critical need in an area that is immediately accessible to public transportation and has walkability to retail and food destinations.

“It is integrating existing infrastructure and taking advantage of its proximity to existing services, like medical and recreational facilities. We are proud to support Starway Village, an exemplar and efficient infill development that will benefit the community for years to come.”

The project is expected to break ground late spring/early summer in 2023.

In November, council approved using $3.5 million of American Rescue Plan Act funding toward gap financing for the development and New Hanover County Commissioners approved $1.8 million.

It’s the first affordable development in the history of the Cape Fear region that both the City of Wilmington and New Hanover County have jointly gap funded.

“Partnerships are key to increasing affordable housing stock in our community, and Starway Village is a prime example of that,” said New Hanover County Board of Commissioners Chair Julia Boseman. “This project will bring 278 new affordable units online for our teachers, emergency responders, healthcare workers, and many others who contribute daily to our community.

“Being able to live affordably in our community is something we are actively working on at the county and in partnership with the city, community organizations and local developers. It’s important that we are all at the table to bring even more affordable housing opportunities to our workforce.”

Hurricane Florence damaged at least 1,200 rental units, displacing lower-income households and increasing the demand for affordable housing.

“Creating safe, affordable housing in storm-impacted regions of the state is a key component of NCORR’s mission and critical to building community resilience,” said NCORR Director Laura Hogshead. “We welcome the opportunity to support Starway Village and help fill Wilmington’s rental housing needs shortfall.”

The multi-family community is located at 2346 Carolina Beach Road and will include 20 fully accessible ADA units. The apartments are anticipated to be fully rented within six months.

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