City of Wilmington donates land to Cape Fear Habitat for Humanity for affordable housing

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) – The City of Wilmington will donate three properties on the Northside of Wilmington to Cape Fear Habitat for Humanity with the intention of constructing additional affordable housing units.

Wilmington City Council voted unanimously on the donation at their Tuesday meeting.

The three properties are located at 610 N. 8th St., 701 Red Cross St., and 708 Swann St. and were declared as surplus property in 2016.

As part of the city’s long-term commitment to prioritizing affordable housing, City Council passed a resolution in 2015 reaffirming the city’s support by making available any suitable surplus property to affordable housing developers and practitioners first to expand the availability of such housing.

For more than a decade we have sought opportunities to increase housing stock, help make the dream of homeownership a reality, and adjusted our land development code to incentivize more affordable housing. Despite the city’s progress, we still have a great need in Wilmington as our community grows. Partnering with Habitat will help us continue to close the gap between what we have and what we need,” Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo said.

Donating these properties will result in an investment of $84,200, bringing the city’s total investment in affordable housing over the last two-decades in excess of $52 million.

“The contribution of surplus property by the City of Wilmington provides critical resources to Cape Fear Habitat in addressing the affordable housing crisis here in our community,” said Cape Fear Habitat for Humanity Executive Director, Lauren McKenzie. “We are able to transform properties the city donates into stable, affordable homes that are purchased by cost-burdened residents who are paying 30 percent or more of their income for housing. This partnership with the city allows families to achieve the stability and long-term benefits of homeownership, while contributing to the tax base which supports the health and vibrancy of the entire community.”

The Cape Fear Housing Coalition also submitted a letter of support for the project, stating “We recognize and appreciate the City of Wilmington’s ongoing commitment to affordable housing, demonstrated through strategic investments like this proposed conveyance. We are confident, based on Cape Fear Habitat’s decades of success and service to our region, that this proposal would make a real and lasting difference in the lives of some of our most vulnerable community members. The Cape Fear Housing Coalition is proud to endorse this project as a model of responsible and affordable development that positively contributes to the overall quality of life in our city.”

This marks the fourth land donation by the city in the last two months for the purpose of building affordable housing.

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