The Dare County Board of Commissioners have selected a preferred development scenario for an essential and workforce housing project located at the Bowsertown Road site in Manteo, marking the latest move in the county’s ongoing efforts to develop quality essential housing units for Outer Banks employees.
The decision was voted upon and passed unanimously at the Dare County Board of Commissioners meeting that was held at 9 a.m. on Monday, December 6, 2021, following a presentation given by Sarah Odio, who serves as project manager for the UNC School of Government’s Development Finance Initiative (DFI).
Previously, at a special meeting held on Monday, November 15, 2021, the Dare County Board of Commissioners asked DFI to proceed with the process by developing conceptual plans for a 120-unit housing development at Bowsertown Road that consisted of a mix of one-bedroom and two-bedroom units and required a maximum amount of county participation at several different price points ranging from $7 million to $9 million.
Each of the proposed scenarios includes a mix of three categories of housing units, some of which are required in order to receive public subsidy: low-income units, which are defined as those whose total monthly rental cost including utilities can be afforded by a two-person household that earns 60 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI) or lower, moderate-income units (70-80 percent AMI) and market-rate units (81 percent AMI and above).
According to DFI, Dare County’s AMI is currently $34,680 for a two-person household. This means that 60 percent AMI for a two-person household would be a maximum monthly rental housing cost of $813 including utilities, and 80 percent AMI for a two-person household would be a maximum monthly rental housing cost of $1,084, also including utilities.
At the December 6, 2021, Dare County Board of Commissioners meeting, Odio presented the five conceptual plans that DFI had developed, which included the following:
- $7 million maximum county participation with 48 market-rate units, 48 moderate-income units and 24 low-income units
- $7.5 million maximum county participation with 40 market-rate units, 56 moderate-income units and 24 low-income units
- $8 million maximum county participation with 33 market-rate units, 63 moderate-income units and 24 low-income units
- $8.5 million maximum county participation with 25 market-rate units, 71 moderate-income units and 24 low-income units
- $9 million maximum county participation with 18 market-rate units, 78 moderate-income units and 24 low-income units
Following a lengthy discussion of the five options that were presented, the Dare County Board of Commissioners unanimously voted to move forward with the proposed development scenario that would require a maximum county participation of $8 million and consist of 33 market-rate units, 63 moderate-income units and 24 low-income units.
In order for DFI and the Dare County Board of Commissioners to move forward with the next steps in the process, Dare County must first rezone the Bowsertown Road site to accommodate the 120 units that are proposed within the chosen conceptual plan. The site is currently zoned to only accommodate 58 units.
The county must also work with the Town of Manteo to receive formal approval for the future housing development to be connected to the municipal wastewater treatment system, a process that will be addressed at an upcoming Town of Manteo Board of Commissioners meeting. Once the wastewater issue is resolved, DFI will then move forward with a formal solicitation process for qualified developers.
The majority of the funding for the development of the Bowsertown Road project will be provided by funding Dare County received from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. These fiscal recovery funds are required to be used only for certain eligible purposes, one of which is essential and workforce housing.
For more information about essential and workforce housing projects in Dare County, including a list of frequently asked questions, visit DareNC.com/Housing