A group working to increase access to affordable housing in the area has teamed up with UNCW to seek input from the public through a new survey
“An important first step in identifying solutions to housing affordability is to gather information from community residents regarding their perceptions of this topic so that community leaders have a complete picture when making decisions and developing a course of action,” said the news release on the survey from The Cape Fear Housing Coalition.
CFHC has partnered with the University of North Carolina Wilmington on the Community Housing Affordability Survey. Kristen DeVall and
Christina Lanier of UNCW’s Department of Sociology and Criminology are conducting the project, with funding from the university’s Office of Community Engagement through a Community Engagement grant.
The impetus for the survey, the release said, was the Mayor’s Roundtable on Housing on Housing Affordability held in November. And the objectives, according to the release, are to:
- develop an understanding of community members’ perceptions and attitudes regarding housing affordability;
- identify supported solutions to increase access to affordable housing within New Hanover County;
- and increase knowledge among city of Wilmington and New Hanover County leaders regarding the issue of affordable housing.
"The CFHC is really excited about this survey and the data we can gather from it. We are really interested in understanding people’s own definition of affordable housing, where the support is for housing affordability in our community, and just as important, would they support it in their own neighborhood or community?" wrote CFHC chairman Paul D'Angelo in an email Thursday. "It’s important to see if our message about affordable housing is being heard, that our community needs to do its best to offer a variety of housing for the variety of income levels in the Cape Fear region. That means affordable rental, market rate rental, affordable homeownership, market rate homeownership, tiny homes . . . cottage communities, multi-family, single family."
He also said, "Unfortunately not everyone’s budgets can handle market rate units in our area, and we need to address this as a community and come up with solutions that can be supported to design, build and maintain affordable housing. This survey will tell us just that!"
D'Angelo said the project team is ambitious, hoping for 2,150 responses. Members of the public can complete the survey
through April 15, and paper surveys will also be placed in key spots throughout the community.
According to the widely accepted definition, housing is considered affordable to the homeowner or tenant if their housing costs, including mortgage or rent, utilities, taxes, and insurance, are 30 percent or less of their household income.