Brunswick County shows it cares about affordable housing initiatives

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By Staff Brunswick Beacon

Last week Brunswick County residents showed they care—and are motivated to do something—about quality, affordable housing in this community.

During the third annual Brunswick Workforce Housing Summit, guest speakers talked about how important it is to have affordable housing here. Although the cost of real estate has dropped from its peak a few years back, the average cost of a home for some working families is still out of reach. With cost of living issues continually on the rise—like higher costs of gas, groceries and utilities—the need for affordable housing has never been greater.

Throughout the year, volunteers regularly step up for important housing projects like Habitat for Humanity. Additionally last week, volunteers showed up for Brunswick Cares, giving time to swing hammers, push brooms and rake lawns across the county to help those who need a little extra help.

Such volunteer spirit is one of the many things that makes Brunswick County a special place to live. The collaborative effort of neighbors helping neighbors continues to be an important part of survival in tough economic times.

While citizens play a vital role in this process, it’s refreshing to know local government takes these issues seriously and have made it a priority to look for solutions. Brunswick County has added workforce-housing initiatives to its Unified Development Ordinance and has recently proposed a cottage house text amendment. These alternatives may make it easier for developers to create more affordable housing and turn the dream of owning a home into a reality for many more Brunswick County residents.

While many people have been involved in moving affordable housing initiatives forward, special recognition goes out to Resea Willis of Brunswick Housing Opportunities and Jayne Mathews of the Brunswick County Volunteer Center. These two ladies have made it their mission to help others in this community who need help most. Whether it's Mathews planning a volunteer list to help those in need in Brunswick County, or Willis sending out public alerts and planning the next housing symposium, they definitely have their hearts—and heads— in the right place.

As Brunswick County continues to grow, such initiatives will continue to be an important, vital part of life here. We hope to see more people take the helm like Willis and Mathews and ensure all residents—regardless of their social economic standings—have safe, comfortable places to call home.

Although events culminated last week through Brunswick Workforce Housing Week, we hope to see such efforts continue year-round.