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Non-profit renovates home to combat lack of affordable housing in the Cape Fear

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - With the lack of affordable housing continuing to be a problem in the...
WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - With the lack of affordable housing continuing to be a problem in the Cape Fear, a non-profit is putting in some hard work to help families find a place to live.(WECT)
Updated: May. 26, 2021 at 5:24 PM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - With the lack of affordable housing continuing to be a problem in the Cape Fear, a non-profit is putting in some hard work to help families find a place to live.

“I’ve been a realtor in this town for 35 years and I can tell you I’ve never seen a lack of inventory the way that it is today,” said president of the Cape Fear Community Land Trust Jody Wainio. “If you look at something for under $200,000 you might have two weeks’ worth of inventory.”

The Cape Fear Community Land Trust has teamed up with other organizations in the past to combat the issue, including Habitat For Humanity. It currently has over a dozen homes they have either built or bought to rent or sell at an affordable price. Now, the group is working on its first complete renovation for a home it plans to sell this summer.

The land trust doesn’t have an official buyer yet, but the group plans to sell it to someone using a USDA loan. It also plans to include a deed requirement to keep investors from buying the home before families get the chance.

“We’re going to have deed restrictions attached to the property so no one can rent it,” said Wainio. “You have to be an owner-occupant. While we can’t control what they earn after they get in the house, the USDA loan has a ceiling of what they can actually earn. With that deed restriction requiring the owner to always live in the house, we feel like that will keep the investors away.”

The Castle Hayne home has three bedrooms, a living space with a fireplace, a kitchen and yard space. Cape Fear Community Land Trust hopes to have the renovations done by July 1 to officially put it on the market, but says it would entertain offers sooner than that if a qualified person is interested.

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