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Affordable Housing Options to Expand in Beaufort County

WASHINGTON, NC (WITN) – The struggle to find housing is affecting families across the country. Now an eastern county is trying to help by creating more affordable options.

Beaufort County officials are celebrating success in affordable housing, breaking ground on Friday morning at one of the sites where new homes will be built: the corner of W 6th and Van Norden streets in Washington.

“We’ve been talking about this for a while, to revitalize our downtown core,” Washington Mayor Donald Sadler said.

This corner is one of many that will soon have 1,200-1,300 square foot stick-built homes. Other empty city-owned lots along 7th Street will also be used.

In some areas, dilapidated houses will be demolished and replaced.

“With the inflation of the last few years, the housing market is no longer accessible to your low-to-moderate income families,” said Shannon Alderman, acting executive director of the Washington Housing Authority. “So keeping that in the under $200,000 range is important for those families.”

Housing Authority board member Joneice Carroll thinks helping people get safe, affordable housing could change the course of their lives.

“As a Washington native, I’ve seen the toughest part of Washington and even lived in some of the toughest parts of Washington, but my mom was determined to keep going until things got better. are improving, and so we hope this is an opportunity for the people of Washington who want this opportunity to make things better for them,” Carroll said.

Carroll hopes the community will set aside preconceptions about people living in public housing.

“People in [public] housing have the same aspiration as everyone else, which is to be treated fairly, to take care of their families, to make sure their basic needs are met,” she said. “More than likely, when we look at it, it’s going to be a house that anyone could live in, and not be stereotyped and say, ‘Well, that’s a low-income house.'”

Brand new affordable homes being built on empty lots is an idea city leaders see promise for anyone nearby.

“Part of it is giving people a place to call home, but it’s also about bringing neighborhoods back to life, so once we get started I think it’s going to take off and we’ll see a lot of later improvements with that,” said Washington City Councilman Mike Renn.

A committee that includes a contractor, city officials and housing authority board members finalizes the plans for the houses. Work should start in about 6 weeks.

The Housing Authority will not release financial details of the project from its completion. Washington City Manager Jonathan Russell said the city is providing a revolving loan fund to help support the project. The amount will vary depending on the size of the lot and the needs, with an emphasis on affordable housing for the workforce to encourage home ownership.

Anyone interested in applying for a house can contact or contact the office at (252) 946-0061.

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