Affordable Highlands Village apartments in New Bern ready in early 2023
New Bern residents will have to wait until January 2023 to move into the affordable Highlands Village apartments as construction has been slower than expected.
The new 60-unit complex, worth $4,307,522, was about 56% complete last Tuesday.
Construction began around December 2021. The complex is located at 4411 Camden Square Drive off Trent Road – built right next to the Camden Square Affordable Apartments developed several years ago.
Highlands Village owner member Stephanie Norris said Norco Property Management, the owner of the complex, originally applied to build in 2019 but was unsuccessful in obtaining a tax credit. The company then found success in August 2020.
Norris said she hoped the affordable housing was completed a year ago, but the pandemic has slowed the construction process.
“There are still a lot of supply chain issues, in some cases even plasterboard,” she said. “The wood is pretty much already in place with the walls, the roof, things of that nature. Now we’re taking care of all the little things: the appliances, the plasterboard, the flooring. It seems So there are still delays in getting different components for different parts of the building.
Norris said she still intends to have the property completed by the end of this year and hopes to start signing leases and handing over keys to interested applicants by early 2023. Several applicants have already contacted Norco Property Management, which is located in Wilmington.
Currently, there is an informal list of interested parties to gather resident information, and Norco will contact potential applicants in August or September, she said. Those wishing to be added to the interested list may contact Norco’s central office at 910-791-3354.
Because Highlands Village Apartments is an affordable housing community, residents must qualify based on income. Some units will be for seniors, individuals or families whose area median income is 40% or up to 60% of the area’s median income, Norris said. There will mainly be a credit check and a criminal check before assessing the income information.
“The New Bern and Craven County market generally indicates a very high need for affordable housing in that county or community, which is not unusual for coastal counties,” she said. “Property values tend to be higher.”
Norris said Norco Property Management is still estimating rental costs for one-, two- and three-bedroom units in Highlands Village, but it could provide general estimates. A one-bedroom unit at 40% of the area’s median income would be around $400 per month. The rent will include water and sewer, she said.
A two-bedroom unit at 40% median income in the area will be in the lower $500 per month bracket, and at 60% median income the rent will be between $800 or $700 per month. The three-bedroom unit at 60% of the area’s median income could cost around $900 per month. The two and three bedroom Highlands Village will each have two bathrooms.
Each apartment will have a separate storage facility located in the breezeway of each building. Residents will also have vinyl flooring in common areas of the apartment for easier cleaning, Norris said.
Other amenities will include a playground, covered picnic area, community space for social gatherings in the clubhouse, and a computer center.
“In any community, unfortunately there is such a disparity in income right now,” she said. “There will always be a need for affordable housing, so we’re just trying to fill a need that’s only a small part. We’re only 60 units.”
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