Editor's Note: This story was updated Jan. 13, 2020, to correct financing information.
Residents have begun returning to the newly restored Market North Apartments in Wilmington, N.C., which was severely damaged by Hurricane Florence in 2018.
The reopening of Market North Apartments brings 204 needed homes back into service at a time when there are still 1,200 affordable housing units in Wilmington that remain uninhabitable due to extensive damage, according to officials.
“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, which acquired the property in late July 2019. “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.”
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 Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and the Affordable Housing Institute. Through these partnerships, the affordable housing firm was able to get 201 units 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.
Financing for the project includes $15 million in low-income housing tax credit equity from R4 Capital. R4 Capital Funding provided the construction and permanent mortgage capital, with Sterling National Bank as its bond investor.
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.