Dare to move forward with essential housing projects

Published 5:36 pm Saturday, July 2, 2022

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The Dare County Board of Commissioners has voted unanimously to finalize a contract with Woda Cooper, a developer that plans to develop approximately 100 essential and workforce housing units at two separate sites: the county-owned Bowsertown Road site on Roanoke Island as well as a site in Nags Head that is currently under contract by Woda Cooper.

The decision was made at a special Dare County Board of Commissioners meeting held June 15, 2022.

Once Dare County’s contract with Woda Cooper has been finalized, the developer will be able to move forward with its application for low-income housing tax credit funding, which subsidizes the acquisition and construction of housing for low- and moderate-income households.

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Woda Cooper specializes in the design, construction and management of affordable housing communities throughout the midwest, mid-Atlantic and southeast.

The firm plans to develop between 40 and 60 housing units at the Bowsertown Road site. The remainder of the approximately 100 total units will be constructed at a site in Nags Head that is currently under contract by Woda Cooper. The company has not yet disclosed its location.

Dare County will contribute a maximum of $9 million in county funds toward the projects. Any additional funding that is required to construct the housing developments will be the responsibility of Woda Cooper.

The board’s action yokes the two projects. Commissioner Rob Ross has consistently questioned the per acre cost of the Nags Head property. County manager Robert L. Outten reported that Woda Cooper had looked at other parcels. Ross voted to move forward with the contract.

In addition to the two essential and workforce housing projects that are being planned in partnership with Woda Cooper, Dare County has also partnered with Coastal Affordable Housing, a North Carolina-based consortium that plans to construct 350-400 affordable housing units in Dare County.

The county is currently in the process of working with the state to ensure that the $35 million in funding that has been allocated to Dare County for the purpose of constructing affordable housing units is in compliance with federal regulations. Once that process is complete, Dare County will be able to move forward with its contract with Coastal Affordable Housing for the construction of the additional housing units using this funding.