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North Carolina Takes Action to Boost Affordable Housing in Wilmington

The state of North Carolina is addressing the critical issue of affordable and workforce housing in the southeastern part of the state. One notable project receiving support is the Covenant development, benefiting from the $190 million Workforce Housing Loan Program appropriation.

Pastor Robert Campbell, owner of the land and leader of New Beginning Christian Church, envisions the Covenant as an affordable housing complex for seniors on a fixed income. Developed in partnership with East Carolina Community Development, the project faced challenges during the pandemic, causing construction delays and increased costs.

Keith Walker, the executive director of East Carolina Community Development, emphasized the perseverance required for the project's success, noting the impact of the pandemic on construction costs and supply chains.

Despite the hurdles, with the assistance of gap funding, construction is set to resume, offering more affordable rent options for the community. Senator Michael Lee played a crucial role in securing the gap funding, recognizing the pressing need for affordable and workforce housing, particularly for seniors.

The North Carolina Housing Finance Agency highlights the urgent demand for affordable housing, revealing that over 52% of renters are financially strained, paying more than 30% of their income on rent.

Senator Lee emphasizes that affordable housing will remain a top priority, given the region's rapid growth contributing to a capacity shortage and rising prices.

While the Covenant development addresses a specific need for seniors, leaders and developers acknowledge that more work is required to meet the broader demand for affordable housing in Wilmington. Walker highlights that the project, providing 68 apartments for over a hundred residents, is just a small part of the larger effort to address housing challenges in the region.

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