Dare County housing projects moving forward

Published 12:41 pm Monday, July 25, 2022

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Dare County’s two housing projects are moving forward.

County manager Robert L. Outten announced the county “now has a path forward to get our $9 million into the hands of Woda Cooper.”

The announcement was made at the July 18, 2022 meeting of the Dare County Board of Commissioners.

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Woda Cooper, an employee-owned corporation headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, is the firm that will build 100 housing units for Dare County. About 40 of those units will go on the county-owned Bowsertown property and 60 units on land in Nags Head.

Outten said the county had engaged the law firm of Parker, Poe, Adams and Bernstein to help chart the legal way forward.

The recommendation to make the project work is to have Woda Cooper Companies build its 100 units using the Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program.

Initially, Woda Cooper had proposed projects with both workforce and market rate units. Outten said Woda Cooper was okay with the change to the tax credit program.

Dare’s commissioners approved a draft contract giving Outten the authority to make the amendment about participation in the housing tax credit program.

Woda Cooper will start as soon as the contract is signed and will use a portion of Dare County money to move forward.

Last Monday, July 11, 2022, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper signed the state budget for the second year of the legislative session.

Included in that fiscal year 2023 budget document was a provision taking back $35 million for Dare County to build affordable housing using federal funds and reallocating $35 million from the state’s General Fund.

Multiple legalities stood in the way of Dare County entering a contract with Coastal Affordable Housing consortium to use the $35 million to build essential housing using federal funding.

Outten said a proposed agreement with Coastal Affordable was in hand.