Monday, February 26, 2024

Market North Apartments ready to welcome back Wilmington residents displaced by Florence

The Market North Apartments, a low-income, HUD-subsidized housing development is ready to re-open some of its units and welcome back residents after Hurricane Florence caused its closure. (Port City Daily photo / Benjamin Schachtman)

WILMINGTON — One of Wilmington’s largest affordable housing properties, Market North Apartments, closed due to Hurricane Florence damages. Now, it’s welcoming back residents.

The national developer Vitus took control of the properties back in July.

“Vitus acquired Market North Apartments in late July 2019 and immediately began major property renovations. In the aftermath of Hurricane Florence, there are still 1,200 affordable housing units in Wilmington that remain uninhabitable due to extensive damage. The re-opening of Market North Apartments will bring 204 of those desperately needed affordable housing units back into service,” according to a press release from the company.

Market North was previously acquired by California-based Foundation for Affordable Housing (FFAH) for $14.7 million in late 2015. The complex has 204 two- and three-bedroom units, the vast majority of which were damaged during Hurricane Florence, displacing over 700 residents.

“At Vitus, we work to provide affordable housing to the cities and regions that need it most,” Scott Langan, principal and director of development for Vitus said in the release. “Hurricane Florence had a severe impact on the infrastructure and people of Wilmington and it means so much to be able to welcome our residents back into a place they can be proud to call their home.”

The need for affordable housing has been a topic of discussion among residents, officials, and developers for several years now.

Related: Wilmington’s Market North asks HUD to double rents, cites debt due to ‘sale of property’

“In order to keep Market North Apartments affordable – and allow residents to move back into their previous homes – Vitus partnered with the Wilmington Housing Authority, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Affordable Housing Institute. Through these partnerships, Vitus was able to get the property covered by a section 8 Project Based Rent Assistance contract that ensures its residents will pay a maximum of 30% of their adjusted income on rent,” according to the release.

The company invested $23.6 million into the apartments which includes renovations to both the interior and exterior of units, new roofs, repairing sidewalks, and energy-efficient HVACV units for all of the apartments.

“Vitus has completed renovations on the first six buildings at Market North. The phased renovation process is currently underway and is expected to be completed by April 2020. As the renovation is completed, there will be minimal disruption to residents who have returned to their units,” the release concludes.

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