NEW HANOVER COUNTY — Cape Fear Habitat for Humanity’s Women Build event kicks off this weekend, starting construction on one of four sites donated by New Hanover County.
The four properties were formerly owned by the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority.
“New Hanover County occasionally acquires parcels from Cape Fear Public Utility Authority when the parcels are no longer needed for water and/or sewer purposes, or other reasons such as foreclosure. Often, these parcels are buildable lots in residential areas that could be used for residential development,” according to the county.
The parcels have wells and pump equipment that occupied only a small portion of the property’s square footage – that is, they were buildable lots in residential areas, but had never been developed because CFPUA owned the land. CFPUA appears to have approved the no-cost sale of the properties to New Hanover County. Under the county’s Property Conveyance for Workforce Housing Policy, created last November, those properties were conveyed to Habitat.
CFPUA spokesperson Vaughn Hagerty said he wasn’t sure exactly what CFPUA had planned for the properties, but noted that in the future the utility has adopted a policy to convey unused, surplus properties to support affordable housing efforts. These surplus properties will be conveyed through no-cost sales, with board approval.
Cape Fear Habitat for Humanity Executive Director Steve Spain said he appreciated the county’s support as well as any role CFPUA had in conveying the properties. Spain said he was pleased to announce that this weekend, work will begin a property in Wilmington as part of Habitat’s Women Build program.
The Women Build program, started in 1991, is “funded and constructed primarily by women and will provide a female-friendly work site that empowers women to take leadership roles and learn new skills while building homes, community and hope.” according to Habitat.
“This home will be Cape Fear Habitat’s first Fortified home and will include wind-resistant features such as roof and window modifications that make a home more resilient against hurricanes and storms and decrease insurance premiums for the homeowner,” according to Cape Fear Habitat for Humanity.
The future homeowner is “currently working full time for a local dermatology practice, she’ll be building her home alongside Women Build volunteers on weekends. This busy mom is excited about having a home of her own where she and her boys can live the life they’ve imagined,” according to Women Build.