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Affordable housing for Dare may be on the horizon; Hanig calls proposal ‘a game changer’

At the Dare County Board of Commissioners meeting August 16, two people spoke about affordable housing.

George Lurie asked the commissioners to move forward on seasonal housing, saying “it’s really time to think outside the box.”

Jeanine Emory expressed her concern about affordable housing: “This is truly something you can do.”

To Emory, board Chairman Robert L. Woodard said “it takes time.”

That time may be shortened.

The North Carolina House budget proposal sets aside $40 million for Dare County to construct affordable housing units. It’s a non-recurring allocation.

Rep. Bobby Hanig, who represents Dare, Currituck, Hyde and Pamlico counties, is exuberant. “This is a big deal.”

The $40 million will come directly to Dare County. Details about program operation will be in the conference report, said Hanig.

“This is a game changer for the Outer Banks,” said Hanig.

Dare Commissioner Jim Tobin worked with Hanig. The representative was very receptive to the idea and great to work with, said Tobin.

At this time, two more steps are needed. The allocation must be included in the budget bill worked out by the Conference Committee and the governor must sign the budget.

“I’m feeling confident about it,” said Hanig.

The House passed its version of the budget August 12 by a 72-41 bipartisan vote, with nine Democrats voting with Republicans. The House’s substitute version was sent to the Senate the same day. On August 17, the Senate failed to concur.

A Conference Committee is now negotiating budget particulars.

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