Woda Cooper issues statement on controversial budget provision 

By on September 28, 2023

Company says it had no knowledge of measure, notes it does not apply to them

Amid the controversy over the mysterious state budget provision that restricts Dare County towns from regulating certain housing projects, Woda Cooper Companies President David Cooper released this statement on Sept. 28.

The statement indicates that the company had no advance knowledge of the budget provision and notes that the budget item does not pertain to housing projects that Woda Cooper is involved with.

“Woda Cooper Companies, Inc. is aware of the controversial provision regarding affordable housing that was included in the State budget bill,” the statement reads. “We would like to clarify that the recent provision in the budget bill explicitly by its terms applies only to developments proposed to be built by Coastal Affordable Housing, LLC. We want to emphasize that we became aware of the recent legislation only through news reports, and the legislation does not apply to our efforts in any way.”

“We will continue to work to build affordable housing in Dare County.” Cooper added.  “We are strong advocates for affordable housing, but we are also long-term owners who believe in working with and fitting into communities.”

The county has partnered with two organizations to build affordable or workforce housing to mitigate what is widely recognized as a major local housing crunch. One is Woda Cooper, which is being funded by $12 million in county money and has thus far been thwarted in its efforts to construct that housing in Manteo and Nags Head.

As Cooper noted in his statement, the other county housing partner, Coastal Affordable Housing LLC, is working with the $35 million in state funds that were awarded to Dare County in the 2021 budget for the purpose of building affordable housing. The state budget provision restricting municipalities’ control over that housing applies to that money.

Coastal Affordable Housing’s effort to build a large housing development in Kill Devil Hills fell apart when the town’s board of commissioners rejected an effort to rezone the property in order to facilitate the project.

SEE ALSO: Dare housing provision in state budget triggers search for its author


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  • Terrible Idea

    Woda Cooper is a good company that makes an honest living by building and operating low income housing in many communities. They specialize in building LIHTC (Low Income Housing Tax Credit) projects. In almost all cases these LIHTC projects do more good than harm for these communities.

    The County Commissioners have given Woda Cooper $12 million of county taxpayers money to build LIHTC housing in Dare County. But due to our unique geography, in Dare County these LIHTC projects would do more harm than good.

    Dare County has a severe housing shortage for local workers. At the same time Dare County also has a unique geographical isolation problem. We are a resort area that has high real estate values with limited space to expand, and no nearby towns or cities to provide service workers.

    Millions of people want to move here and retire here. Under federal rules these LIHTC housing projects are especially well suited for retired seniors (Non-workers) on fixed incomes. Studies have shown that most of our local essential workers will not qualify because their income is too high.

    These housing projects will be open for Non-locals because under federal rules Non-locals must be treated the same as Locals. Spending Dare County taxpayer’s money to build housing for Non-locals and Non-workers is a terrible idea that will do more harm than good and just make our local worker housing shortage problem even worse.

    Friday, Sep 29 @ 9:33 am
  • RicknKDH

    This is not rocket science. The culprits behind the provision in the budget bill explicitly by its terms applies only to developments proposed to be built by Coastal Affordable Housing, LLC.

    Friday, Sep 29 @ 10:41 am
  • charlie

    The new budget has a provision sneakily buried in it.. Specifically: you can no longer try to access legislators e mails and correspondence through the freedom of information process… if we had the ability perhaps who put this addition to the budget affecting Dare County could be ferreted out…

    Monday, Oct 2 @ 11:32 am