JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — As Onslow County continues to grow, the lack of housing — especially affordable units — continues to challenge the community.
While a recent rezoning approval is a step in the right direction, more needs to be done to meet the area’s needs, officials say.
The Onslow County Board of Commissioners voted 7-0 on Monday to rezone 20 acres, which will allow the awarded contractor to build multi-family, affordable units in the Bear Creek area of Swansboro.
Board of Commissioners Chairman Jack Bright said there really wasn’t any pushback on the issue.
“So it had to be pretty good because we let people know, within 1,000-foot radius have any kind of change in zoning, we send out letters to everybody we posted out there and nobody opposed it,” said Bright.
This property could support up to 200 new units, but the Onslow County area currently has a need for 1,400 new affordable housing units.
“There’s a 1,400 need for affordable housing, but there’s a need for more than 1,400 houses because people are moving here from California, and the Marine Corps Base in California is closing their MARSOC operation there,” Bright said. “So we are getting 700 additional troops here to complement the MARSOC operation here, and those 700 people will have families.”
Bright said construction can now begin as soon as the contractor is granted the permits. As far as how long before people can start applying and eventually moving in, he said it’s hard to say right now.
“And it’s hard to get building material, it’s hard to get windows, it’s hard to get doors. So the permitting process, then actual getting to the point where they can start putting bricks in the ground. I don’t have that date,” Bright said.
In December, Onslow County approved a proposal to build 82 new affordable housing units, and they say they are continuing to create more housing options in the area.