Dare County Housing Task Force April 2024 update – OBX Today

Dare County Housing Task Force April 2024 update - OBX Today

The Dare County Housing Task Force held three meetings in April 2024. At its meeting held on April 16, 2024, Dare County Manager/Attorney Bobby Outten briefed the group on actions that have been taken by the Dare County Board of Commissioners to address the ongoing housing issues in the county, including the board’s recent decision to end its partnership with Coastal Affordable Housing LLC and return the $35 million in state funding allocated to Dare County in 2021 for the purpose of working with a qualified private partner to construct affordable housing units back to the state due to the inability of developers to make progress on such developments thus far.

The Housing Task Force then voted to send a letter to N.C. Representative Keith Kidwell, N.C. Representative Ed Goodwin, N.C. Senator Bobby Hanig and N.C. Senator Norm Sanderson to request their support and assistance with repealing sections of H.B. 259 approved in 2023 that pre-exempted local Dare County and municipal zoning regulations for any projects utilizing the $35 million in state funding. Representative Goodwin, Senator Hanig and Senator Sanderson virtually attended the Housing Task Force’s meetings held on April 22, 2024 and April 30, 2024 to listen to the group’s discussions.

Following the virtual calls with state officials, the task force voted unanimously during their meeting on April 30, 2024 to ask the Dare County Board of Commissioners to put on hold any actions to return the $35 million allocated to Dare County while the task force works to develop a plan that is acceptable to Dare County and its six municipalities, as well as the state legislature and the Housing Task Force. The Dare County Board of Commissioners will discuss this request at their meeting scheduled for 9 a.m. on Tuesday, May 7, 2024.

At recent meetings of the Housing Task Force, Dare County Board of Commissioners Chairman Bob Woodard noted that there has been success in Dare County with community-led groups working collaboratively to address other critical issues. He cited the accomplishments of the Oregon Inlet Task Force, the N.C. Highway 12 Task Force and the Saving Lives Task Force and indicated that the Housing Task Force should follow these models.

Housing Task Force members agreed and voted unanimously during the April 30, 2024 meeting to elect Outer Banks Association of REALTORS Government Affairs Director Donna Creef as chairman of the task force and to elect Roanoke Island representative Malcolm Fearing as vice chairman.

In other actions taken on April 30, 2024, the Housing Task Force set up subcommittees: one that will begin work to develop a plan for presentation to the full task force and the community and a second subcommittee to research nonprofit organizations that have been used in other tourism-driven areas to address housing issues in their communities.

These subcommittees are scheduled to meet before the next Housing Task Force meeting, which will be held on May 14, 2024, at the Dare County Administration Building (Room 238), which is located at 954 Marshall C. Collins Drive in Manteo. Also during the Housing Task Force’s April 30, 2024 meeting, it was acknowledged that other subcommittees may be needed as the Housing Task Force moves forward in its efforts to find solutions to the housing issues in Dare County.

“We are grateful to the state of North Carolina for their recognition of the housing issues in Dare County and for funding previously allocated in 2021,” said Housing Task Force Chairman Donna Creef. “Based on the discussions at the recent meetings, I believe the task force members are earnest in their desires to identify potential options that work for all of Dare County.”

For more information about the Housing Task Force—including a list of current members, upcoming meeting dates, and agendas and minutes from previously held meetings—please visit www.DareNC.gov/Housing.