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Cape Fear Habitat hopes 2021 is banner year for affordable housing options

Updated: May. 27, 2021 at 12:27 PM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Cape Fear Habitat for Humanity is on track for a banner construction year. At the current rate, Habitat hopes to be on track to build a total of 20 homes in the region — double that of a typical year.

“We’re still seeing the affects of Hurricane Florence on affordable housing in the region,” said Habitat’s director, Lauren McKenzie. “We’ve received funding to help support the building of those homes, especially in our Daniel Boone Trail Development.”

When all is said and done, the Daniel Boone Trail Development will be home to 27 families. Tonya Lawton’s family is one of them.

“I’ve been here about two months and when I pull into my driveway, I’m still thinking ‘oh, my goodness,’” said Lawton. “I still wake up in the morning, look around and can’t believe all this is for us.”

It’s been in development now for the past few years. New Hanover County, the state of North Carolina, Wells Fargo and several community members have helped fund the project. Now there’s another project being built in Castle Hayne. The project is called “Legacy Landing” located off Rock Hill Road.

“We’ve gotten the recent approval for 11 lots,” said McKenzie. “That’s a big plus for us, when you consider the issue of land scarcity in the region.”

Since Cape Fear Habitat’s corporate offices relocated, volunteers are taking advantage of the 18,000 square feet of warehouse space.

“It helps with time, because we’re now essentially weatherproof,” said Russ Kline, who’s a construction crew leader. “We can build components here, rain or shine, hot or cold, and transport them to the site. It also cuts down on construction waste. In some cases from 40% to 5%.”

That streamlined process helps to cut down on the time frame of a typical build and it keeps construction costs down, as well. Important considerations, considering, nationally, the prices of construction and building supplies are skyrocketing.

“This has been an incredible experience all the way around,” said Lawton. “For anyone who’s considering an application, what do you have to lose? Whatever time it takes, whatever effort is needed, in the long run, I can tell you, it’s worth it.”

To learn more about Cape Fear Habitat for Humanity, click here.

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