affordable housing

Good Shepherd Center

Most Americans look forward to a feast on Thanksgiving Day.  It’s a day of gratitude, time with family, and let’s be honest – unbridled consumption.  But for more than half a million people, the question of what to cook for the big dinner is overshadowed by much more basic concerns:  where to spend the night, how to stay warm, where to find food – any food.

Plan New Hanover County /

To tackle the divide between high home prices and low wages, regional business leaders suggest increasing incomes through targeted economic development.  But at a recent roundtable discussion, local government representatives came at it from a different angle: lowering housing costs.

The heads of Wilmington City Council and the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners agree that partnerships between local government and developers are part of the solution to the region’s lack of affordable housing.  Here’s Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo:

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At a recent roundtable focused on the lack of affordable housing in the Cape Fear region, local representatives suggested ways of lowering the high cost of housing.  But some business leaders proposed a different route: raising incomes to meet housing prices.

City of Wilmington

In the Cape Fear region, there’s a large and growing gap between high home prices and low wages.  At a recent roundtable, regional government and business leaders discussed this disparity.  Who is affected by the lack of housing affordability?  And how does it affect the community at large?

City of Wilmington

In New Hanover and Pender counties, almost 40% of homeowners are cost burdened, meaning they spend over a third of their income on housing. That’s not even factoring in renters, who are about half of the local population. This lack of affordable options leads to housing instability, which hits those who’ve already had a hard knock—like imprisonment and illness—especially hard.

Over five thousand New Hanover County residents are in need of affordable housing assistance. This week, community leaders came together to discuss solutions at the Mayor’s Roundtable on Housing Affordability.

The roundtable’s panelists agree that a major barrier to bringing more affordable housing to Wilmington is the stigma surrounding the term, which many citizens equate with public housing.

New Hanover County Chairman Jonathan Barfield, Jr. says people need to be educated about what affordable housing really means: 

A Wilmington program is helping low-income families find affordable, safe housing while also boosting the local economy by supporting small business.

The Wilmington Housing Authority is accepting applications for the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program waiting list for the first time in three years. Under the program, the housing authority pays a subsidy to the landlord while the renter pays the difference. When a voucher becomes available, the housing authority gives it to those on the waiting list.

City of Wilmington

It’s taken eight years of planning, but within the next twelve months, work could begin on a new permanent supportive housing facility near Greenfield Lake. WHQR’s Isabelle Shepherd reports the space would provide affordable housing for 40 disabled people. 

Permanent supportive housing resembles ordinary rental agreements. The difference: It is geared towards the disabled, including veterans and the elderly.

Scott Davidson

The Wilmington Housing Authority is cracking down on crime in public housing communities. At Monday's monthly board meeting, a UNCW graduate student is presenting a study on criminal activity in affordable housing. And the Authority is proposing sweeping policy changes in an effort to get public housing residents and their visitors off the streets late at night.