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Tue February 13, 2007
Affordable Housing Website Debuts
By Megan V. Williams
Wilmington, NC – Apartment searching is rarely fun. On a limited budget, it can be downright maddening.
A coalition pushing for affordable housing in New Hanover and Brunswick County wants to make the process a little easier with a new website.
The site contains apartment listings geared toward residents of modest means and includes information about whether units are priced on a sliding scale or are eligible for Section 8 vouchers.
However, there's no income limit for renters using the site, and the cut-off for rents covers about 70% of the units available in New Hanover and Brunswick counties, according to a representative from the company which administers the website, socialserv.com. The company says it tries to balance affordability with comprehensive coverage of rental markets
Katrina Knight of Good Shepherd Ministries is part of the coalition bringing the site to Wilmington. She says working families sometimes have trouble identifying what housing is available.
"If they are relegated only to the newspaper, or if they have limited transportation, it's difficult for them to really get out there and see what all those options really are," Knight said.
But Knight is clear that the site isn't a fix for what she calls "our affordable housing crisis."
"This is one tool in the toolbox," Knight said. "We still need to advocate and work toward more affordable housing production and preservation."
Knight predicts use of the website will grow in the coming months. Right now, the site has a little more than a dozen postings.