Affordable housing committee guidelines, makeup on commissioners’ agenda

PortCityDaily.com is your source for free news and information in the Wilmington area.

The New Hanover County Historic Courthouse is featured prominently in 'Sleepy Hollow,' much as the next-door Thalian Hall was in 'Matlock' two decades ago. Photos by Jonathan Spiers.
New Hanover County Historic Courthouse. File photo.

A resolution to join the City of Wilmington in their effort to provide more affordable housing as well as a public hearing to possibly put water and sewer lines under the U.S. 421 corridor are both on the agenda for Monday morning’s New Hanover County Board of Commissioners meeting.

The city initially approved a resolution in January to create a 12-member ad-hoc committee that would help the governing bodies come up with ways to address the lack of affordable or workforce housing in the region. The county wanted clarification on things, including the type of support that would be expected.

The amended resolution proposed by the county and expected to be adopted Monday puts a $20,000 budget cap on contributions from each entity. It also expands the size of the committee to 14 members, with one at-large member each from the city and county. The remaining members will be representatives from banking, real estate, development, housing groups and the community.

They are tasked with meeting for six months and producing a report that outlines both short- and long-term recommendations for providing quality housing at lower costs, a problem that is rising as the region continues to grow exponentially in population.

The updated proposal is on the Wilmington City Council agenda for their Tuesday night meeting and is also expected to be approved by them.

Also on the commissioners’ Monday agenda is a public hearing on the appropriation of $2.1 million for water and sewer infrastructure and economic development along the U.S. 421 corridor. The money, funded through loan proceeds from the county’s five-year Capital Improvement Plan, would go to the design, permits and right-of-way acquisitions for the project.

The majority of the money ($900,000) would go toward the design and permit costs of a wastewater system in the area, and $600,000 would go toward the same items for a water system. The balance would be used to acquire the right-of-ways for the two ($500,000 for wastewater and $100,000 for water).

Only those three aspects of the project will be funded by this ordinance, as other options, including grants, are being looked at to pay for construction.

The meeting starts at 9 a.m. Monday and will be held at the New Hanover County Historic Courthouse. University of North Carolina – Wilmington student athletes will also be recognized for their achievements, and several proclamations will be adopted. A full agenda can be found here.