Apartments planned for Ahoskie

Published 8:37 am Tuesday, October 23, 2012

AHOSKIE – A project is moving forward to construct 12, one-bedroom apartments here that will benefit low to moderate income individuals with disabilities.

At their Oct. 16 meeting, the Ahoskie Town Council unanimously supported a measure where the town will apply for a $300,000 grant from the North Carolina Division of Community Investment on behalf of the Ahoskie Housing Authority. The latter entity wants to construct those apartments on land they own located on Everett Street off Memorial Drive. The entire project is listed at $1.2 million.

Bill Farris of the North Carolina Department of Commerce was at last week’s meeting to explain about the process of applying for NC Catalyst Funds.

“This fund distributes Community Development Block Grant funds; the state receives these funds from the federal government and distributes to counties and municipalities,” Farris told Council members. “Among the listed purposes of the program is affordable housing for low to moderate income families.”

Farris added that this particular planned project in Ahoskie also adds the element of “leveraged investments.”

“There are a couple of other funding sources that can be leveraged towards this project,” he said.

Those sources, he said, included NC Housing Finance Agency ($600,000) and the Federal Home Loan Bank ($300,000). Farris said there are administrative costs with this project, but they are included within the grant funding.

“Everything within these apartments is built where they are universally accessible – whether that’s a wheelchair or a walker; so are the bathrooms and the kitchens,” Farris noted. “Even the parking areas are handicapped accessible.”

Each apartment contains four rooms – bed, living, kitchen and bath. The kitchens are equipped with appliances.

Farris said the Ahoskie Housing Authority is already working with CADA on a plan to provide renter assistance dedicated for these apartment units.

“Most of these folks are in need of housing and have disabilities,” he stated. “They are receiving SSI or some type of assistance similar to that. There’s a very limited amount of money available, maybe $800 or $900 monthly.”

On a motion from Councilwoman Elaine Myers and a second from Councilman Malcolm Copeland, a measure was approved by a 5-0 vote to move forward with the $300,000 application to the NC Division of Community Investment and schedule another public hearing on the matter for 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 13.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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