WILMINGTON, N.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Vitus, a national developer and owner of affordable housing, announced today that it is welcoming residents back into the newly restored Market North Apartments in Wilmington, North Carolina. Residents were originally forced to vacate the property after the apartments were severely damaged by Hurricane Florence in September of 2018.
Vitus acquired Market North Apartments in late July 2019 and immediately began major property renovations. In the aftermath of Hurricane Florence, there are still 1,200 affordable housing units in Wilmington that remain uninhabitable due to extensive damage. The re-opening of Market North Apartments will bring 204 of those desperately needed affordable housing units back into service.
“At Vitus, we work to provide affordable housing to the cities and regions that need it most,” said Scott Langan, principal and director of development for Vitus. “Hurricane Florence had a severe impact on the infrastructure and people of Wilmington and it means so much to be able to welcome our residents back into a place they can be proud to call their home.”
There is a critical need for affordable housing in Wilmington. According to a report released by Cape Fear Realtors, one-third of all households are cost-burdened, meaning residents are spending more than 30% of their annual income on housing. Compared to North Carolina state averages, Wilmington’s cost of living exceeds the average, while the wages are lower.
In order to keep Market North Apartments affordable – and allow residents to move back into their previous homes – Vitus partnered with the Wilmington Housing Authority, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Affordable Housing Institute. Through these partnerships, Vitus was able to get the property covered by a section 8 Project Based Rent Assistance contract that ensures its residents will pay a maximum of 30% of their adjusted income on rent.
“The Wilmington Housing Authority, HUD and the Affordable Housing Institute have been instrumental in this process,” said Langan. “We look forward to growing these partnerships and continuing to expand the affordable housing options available to the people of North Carolina.”
Vitus’ $23.6 million investment in Market North Apartments covers numerous exterior and interior reconstruction and improvements, such as new roofs, siding and windows, removal and repair of damaged sidewalks, new accessible routes with dedicated ADA parking, new energy-efficient HVAC systems in all units, updated cabinets and countertops in all kitchens and bathrooms, updated energy-efficient plumbing throughout and ENERGY STAR® certified appliances.
Vitus has completed renovations on the first six buildings at Market North. The phased renovation process is currently underway and is expected to be completed by April 2020. As the renovation is completed, there will be minimal disruption to residents who have returned to their units.
At Vitus, our mission is to create positive impact – one community, one family and one life at a time. Since 1996 we have partnered with lenders, investors and public agencies to preserve and extend the life of existing affordable housing across the country in markets with the greatest need. Through holistic renovation, we focus on the well-being of residents and rejuvenating the surrounding community to both improve the overall quality of each property and incorporate features that promote physical activity, community gathering and energy efficiency. To date, our team has provided stable homes for more than 25,000 residents in 25 states. www.vitus.com