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Partnership between State Agencies Produces Affordable Apartments for Persons with Special Needs

Press Contact Only:

Margaret Matrone, NCHFA, 919-877-5606, 
or
Debbie Crane, N.C. Dept. of Health and Human Services, (919) 733-4534


Families fleeing domestic violence and persons with mental illness, developmental disabilities and other special needs will have new housing options in seven communities, as the result of a partnership between the N.C. Housing Finance Agency and the N.C. Dept. of Health and Human Services.

Developers of seven rental communities that were approved Friday (Aug. 16) for federal Housing Credits will give persons with special needs priority for renting a percentage of the apartments. Under guidance from the N.C. Dept. of Health and Human Services, the developers will work with local agencies to provide case management and other services for residents with special needs.

The N.C. Housing Finance Agency encouraged developers to build the supportive housing by offering bonus points in the competitive rating system it uses to evaluate applications for Housing Credits.

“Our partnership with the Dept. of Health and Human Services successfully connects the major funding source for affordable apartments with quality community services for persons with special needs,” said A. Robert Kucab, executive director of the N.C. Housing Finance Agency. The first 86 service-linked apartments will be in Carrboro, Charlotte, Clyde, Columbus (Polk County), Havelock, Shalotte, and Wilmington.

Secretary of Health and Human Services Carmen Hooker-Odom expressed enthusiasm for the new process. “Persons with disabilities are disproportionately represented among North Carolinians with worst-case housing needs,” said Hooker-Odom. “We applaud the staff and leadership at the N.C. Housing Finance Agency for their effort to work collaboratively with us to assure that persons with disabilities receive a fair share of affordable housing resources. We are committed to the success of this new undertaking.

”The Dept. of Health and Human Services wrote guidelines for the service plans that the developers were required to submit, linked the developers with local agencies that work with the target population, and determined whether the final plans would meet residents’ needs. Criteria included accessibility features of the apartments, proximity to transportation and community services, and affordability.

Many persons with mental and developmental disabilities cannot afford Housing Credit rents, which are set for residents earning 50 to 60 percent of area median income. Community organizations will offer rent assistance to make the special needs apartments affordable at 25 percent of median.

A self-supporting public agency, the N.C. Housing Finance Agency has financed more than 126,000 affordable homes and apartments throughout the state. 

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