Goldsboro is one of eight communities in the state still struggling from Hurricanes Matthew and Florence that will receive part of $2.7 million in special housing infrastructure grants to help develop more affordable housing.

The city will receive $350,000 through the 2019 Rural Housing Recovery Fund established between the N.C. Department of Commerce and the N.C. Housing Finance Agency.

The grant was created to help speed recovery in areas affected by Hurricane Matthew in 2016 and Hurricane Florence last September, according to Gov. Roy Cooper’s office.

“North Carolina has been hit hard by hurricanes, but our people and our communities are strong and we’re working hard to recover,” Cooper said in a news release. “One thing the storms have shown us is that many parts of our state don’t have enough affordable housing. This grant will help more families have a safe and affordable place to call home.”

Goldsboro Mayor Chuck Allen said most of the grant funding for Goldsboro will go to Adair Place in Rosewood, a 60-acre community development near U.S. 70 and N.C. 581, to provide affordable apartments.

The new development in rural western Wayne County had a lot of infrastructure problems after the flooding from Hurricane Florence and city officials met with the Adair developer and worked with community development to apply for the grant, Allen said.

The Adair development will receive $250,000 to build more affordable housing units, Allen said.

Steve Keen, founder of Adair LLC, could not be reached for comment.

“That will give (Goldsboro) 72 more affordable housing units,” Allen said.

They consist of infrastructure improvements to Adair Place with the construction of a street extension of Keller Way or Keenway Drive (a public street). It will also add to the affordable housing stock three newly constructed three-story apartment buildings that will contain the 72 units including a community building. Thirty-six of the 72 total units will be three-bedroom units with the other 36 units to be 12 one-bedroom units and 24 two-bedroom units. Location of the project is 200, 202, 204 and 206 Keller Way, according to the city.

The remaining grant funds, $100,000, will go to the city for management fees, Allen said.

“I think it’s great,” Allen said. “Anything we can do to create more affordable housing in the city and county it is good. We need all the help we can get since the flood. People need a decent place to live and we are trying to provide that. We are very appreciative to the Governor’s Office for what they have done. Gov. Cooper understands the plight we are facing in Eastern North Carolina.”

Tim Salmon, Goldsboro city manager, was also pleased the city received the grant.

“Goldsboro lost more than 250 housing units after hurricanes Matthew and Florence, leaving many residents displaced,” Salmon said. “Thanks to this grant and our public-private partnership with Adair LLC, we will be able to increase the number of affordable housing options available to our residents. We are committed to continuing to seek grants and creative ways to address the affordable housing issue in our community.”

Shycole Simpson-Carter, community relations director who wrote the grant, also acknowledged work of Allen and the team from Adair LCC that helped the city with a successful grant application.

“Goldsboro receiving the Rural Housing Recovery Infrastructure grant will allow individuals and families that have experienced — and are still experiencing — emotional and psychological trauma from the two hurricanes to be placed back in homes that are affordable, safe, and healthy,” Simpson-Carter said. “This type of public-private partnership is one way the city can ensure an increase in affordable housing, a strong and diverse economy, quality of life, racial and cultural harmony, and government excellence.”

The Rural Housing Recovery Fund is available for new construction projects in local governments in economically distressed areas, classified as Tier 1 or Tier 2 counties under the 2019 North Carolina Development Tier Designations. Wayne County is classified as a Tier 1 county.

The eight communities that will receive the grant funds are all located in disaster-declared areas. They include Fayetteville, $329,631; Goldsboro, $350,000; Greenville, $350,000; Havelock, $350,000; Jacksonville, $350,000; New Bern, $350,000; Ayden, $315,800.00; St. Pauls, $299,700.

No matching funds are needed for the grant.

The grants can be used for water, sewer, roads, sidewalks, drainage, lighting, parking, high-speed internet and other infrastructure for affordable housing developments.

Anthony Copeland, secretary of commerce, said the grant funds will support the construction of 528 new affordable housing units and future community development.