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Brunswick County Experiencing Affordable Housing Crisis

Brunswick County is experiencing a lack of affordable housing due to which, leaders are coming up with solutions to improve Brunswick’s situation.

March 21, 2024

Due to the rising population in Brunswick County, residents and leaders believe that there’s a need for more affordable housing in Brunswick County.

Brunswick County residents and groups shed light on how homelessness and lack of transitional and affordable housing opportunities are impacting the neighboring individuals, students, and families.

Brunswick Housing Executive Director Sally Learned believes that it’s not about whether the county needs shelter or not but that the county needs affordable housing. Sally revealed that last week, nearly 192 students were homeless.

A lot of local individuals and families experiencing homelessness are not roaming on the streets or the sidewalks. They sleep on different couches every night or sometimes in their car or tent. Roughly, nearly 500 residents in the county are found homeless on one given night.

Right now, Brunswick County has no permanent homeless shelters to assist residents. The county is transporting some folks to shelters in Wilmington and giving a room to some folks.

Brunswick Family Assistance (BFA) Executive Director Stephanie Bowen said, “What we really need is more affordable housing. I mean that’s the long-term solution”.

The main reason of homelessness is the rise in housing and cost of living but salaries remain the same. A family of four was making $3200 per month in 2023 but was living at 130% of the poverty level.

A shelter is used to provide a temporary safe space for individuals and families experiencing homelessness. The only permanent solution according to the local leaders and experts is the availability of affordable housing.

Stough said, “But the most important need for homeless individuals is permanent housing that is affordable and attainable. Shelter is one piece of the puzzle, but affordable housing (housing which costs less than 30% of a person’s income) is ultimately what will have the biggest impact.”

The count of people experiencing homelessness includes the number of folks who are unsheltered or folks who are receiving shelter services. This year’s data reveals an increase in the number of both sheltered and unsheltered homeless in Brunswick County.

Besides this, the commission also talked about similar problems in the substance abuse and addiction population. The commission also experiences problems with finding affordable housing for people recovering from drug abuse.

There are also some individuals and families that move to Brunswick County to get rid of toxic living environments in Wilmington County. However many of the people had to move back before they were not able to find affordable housing. And this could increase the chances of folks falling into drug abuse and addiction.

The members also discussed the need for transitional housing to make folks come out of treatment programs.

Brunswick County Communications Director Meagan Kascsak explained, “The federal government defines housing as ‘affordable’ if it costs no more than 30% of the monthly household income for rent and utilities. Most affordable housing developments are built for families and individuals with incomes of 60% or less than the area median income (AMI).”

The need for more affordable housing has also been discussed in the past meetings. The county manager revealed that people turned down the jobs even because of a lack of affordable housing.

There are some affordable housing units in Brunswick County but the leaders believe that they are not enough and there needs to be more.

Article Sources

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The content provided in this article draws inspiration and includes quotes from various reputable sources, including news articles, government data, and interviews. Affordable Housing 411 strives to ensure accuracy and credibility, but the information presented may be based on some external sources. We encourage readers to refer to the referenced materials for more in-depth insights and verification.

Tenenoff Savanna. “Affordable housing a growing need in Brunswick County”. News Argus, March 21, 2024,
Affordable housing a growing need in Brunswick County | News | newsargus.com

Last Updated: September 20, 2021