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Owens: Time to get serious about affordable housing

Manteo Mayor Bobby Owens told the Board of Commissioners it is time to have serious discussions about affordable housing.

The mayor said at the conclusion of the September commissioners meeting that for years affordable housing has been bandied about by governments all over Dare County. Now it is time for “serious” discussions, according to Owens.

“I know there is money available, the situation’s available, everything’s available to affordable housing,” Owens said, “we just got to make a move one way or another.” The mayor thought the Dare County government had come close to a plan before and may still be amenable to help with an affordable housing plan.

The mayor told the board “we just need to make a move, maybe go back to the county. If not, there are two or three places [in Manteo] available.” Owens said the town has the tools to do it with: “We are the only area that has water and sewer.”

Manteo has an affordable housing ordinance enacted in 2004. The ordinance recognizes the “need to provide affordable housing to low income households in order to maintain a diverse population and to provide housing for those who live or work in the town.”

The mayor’s call for serious talks is expected to lead to a reexamination of the policy and its future implementation.

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