Affordable housing facility approved for multi-million dollar renovations

City council approves sidewalk funding, financing $30 million for projects
Published: Mar. 20, 2023 at 5:20 PM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - An affordable housing facility for local seniors will receive multi-million dollar renovation after Wilmington City Council approved them at their meeting on March 21.

The Cape Fear Hotel Apartments at 201 N. Second St. Sustained significant damage during Hurricane Florence. Now, a proposed bond could help to fix that.

“It is getting harder and harder for people to find affordable units to live in,” Mayor Bill Saffo said. “This has been a very important affordable development for the city for quite some time and to lose that would have been a tremendous loss.”

Residential Properties Management, the private company that owns the facility, is requesting as much as $13 million in a bond from the federal government. That would allow the facility to be rehabilitated without taking out a high-interest loan.

In exchange, the company would commit to maintaining affordable rent, which is determined based on a resident’s annual income, over the next several years. The facility currently serves low-income people age 62 and older.

Before the company can get the loan, the rehabilitation must also be approved by the Wilmington Housing Authority and the city council. The housing authority approved the project earlier this month, and the council is set to vote on it on Tuesday.

Saffo said he sees the rehabilitation as necessary so the city can continue providing affordable housing options to the community. He said he sees it as a great opportunity for collaboration between the city, the housing authority and the federal government.

“To see this happening, to see the private sector stepping up to improve the quality of those units for those senior citizens that live there, I think it’s phenomenal, it’s great,” Saffo said. “We’re just glad to be part of it and to participate, but also do our due diligence, do our part.”