$13.5 million dedicated to affordable housing in New Bern

Published: Apr. 21, 2022 at 6:23 PM EDT
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NEW BERN, N.C. (WITN) - Carolina Avenue Apartments held its official ribbon cutting on Thursday.

The complex has 1-bedroom through 3-bedroom low-income units.

The apartments were built in an effort to add more affordable housing in the city of New Bern after much of the low-income housing in Trent Court suffered damage from Hurricane Florence.

The state Housing and Finance Agency and the New Bern Housing Authority were among the organizations that contributed funds to the $13.5 million project.

The state Housing and Finance Agency used funds from a disaster recovery loan and low-income tax credits.

108 affordable housing units were lost because of hurricane damage, and the housing authority says getting these apartments up was just the tip of the iceberg for affordable housing.

Kelvin McRavin is a current tenant of the Carolina Avenue Apartments. He reflected on the hardships he dealt with after the hurricane.

“I was in a tough spot,” McRavin said. “All I was just hoping and praying that I could do it. I could come in here. And when they turned around and told me that I was approved to come in here, it was like a weight off your shoulders.”

Tenant Cheryl Reed nearly lost all of her family mementos of her late husband and daughter in the hurricane.

“I didn’t know what to do... the water started coming to the stairs; our bedrooms were upstairs, mementos and everything...” Reed said. “I kind of pulled them together, whatever I thought I needed and my medicines but everything else - I had to just come back and see you later, what could be salvaged.”

Reed now says she sees the upgrade in residence as something that was a negative that has been turned into a positive.

“It feels wonderful. It’s my income. I’m SSD,” Reed said. “You can’t beat it. I love it, to have this become in here, you know, a part of our communities and more coming.”

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