Beaufort, N.C.

May 7, 2023


Monday, May 8 at 6:00 p.m. could be the defining moment for the future of Beaufort and Carteret County as well.

For each and every one of us, there are certain junctures in our life where an important decision has to be made, but we simply do not have enough information to make a wise decision. It is our intellect or possibly an inner voice that pulls us back from making a hasty decision, but perhaps our pride pushes us forward to do so.

There's nothing wrong with admitting that there is considerable information still outstanding concerning the Beaufort Housing Authority’s request for a brand new type of Affordable Housing Zone. At the last work session, Town of Beaufort staff admitted that this could result in a precedent for denser development demands from other developers.

Is this spot rezoning? Some say “yes.” Some say “no,” but to avoid any legal entanglements Beaufort should get a thorough legal opinion. And while we are researching that, are we not in fact, red-lining a zone and may be in danger of a civil rights lawsuit? This is another point that needs to be perfectly clear in advance of a vote.

What does Beaufort gain with an affirmative decision? Exactly what will Winn Development bring to Beaufort? Many promises have been made, but has anyone seen them in writing?

At a recent meeting, BHA’s Consultant reviewed slides that confirmed the new construction of 300 additional living units would all be Section 8 Housing. There was no mention of the Workforce Housing that has been used as a justification for this project in downtown Beaufort. In addition, the HUD website also says this will all be Section 8 Housing.

Yet BHA representatives said that only 40% of the housing would be extremely low income with the remainder dedicated to housing the workforce. Again, this message conflicts with the slides which were presented by the BHA Consultant. Where lies the truth?

With such an important decision, the citizens of Beaufort have the right to know precisely what BHA and Winn Development plan to build. Either they can't or won't share that crucial piece of information. This should be provided in a verifiable written format, not in a presentation, conversation, or verbal promise. Beaufort deserves better. Trust, but verify!!

America is in a housing crisis, much more severe than anything here in Beaufort; however, the “one size fits all” proposal of Winn Development and the “poverty prison” of Section 8 Housing has not worked in Beaufort or anywhere in America. We implore our Beaufort Board of Commissioners to do more research. Why not establish a special Committee to do this? What is the future of Beaufort worth in time and effort?

There are other options that can not only benefit the operating authority (BHA), but more importantly the people who live in Affordable Housing. Several of these are being constructed today by builders in our area and are very successful.

Here are some of the options available. There are many more workable options across the state and nation.

•Town sponsored affordable homeownership programs (successful in Raleigh)

•Community Land Trust (very successful in Durham)

•Affordable housing through BHA/Section 8 with integrated savings and homeownership programs/incentives for interested residents. (Coastal Community Action)

•Town sponsored incentives for private landlords to accept Section 8 vouchers.

The focus should be on what is best for the Town of Beaufort and those individuals who need Affordable Housing, not a shortcut for BHA or a long-term investment opportunity for Winn Development’s investors.

As citizens, we do not feel there is enough information available for the Beaufort Board of Commissioners to make an intelligent informed decision at this time.

Deny the creation of a new affordable housing zone and insist that all parties put all their cards on the table (in writing) for an honest, insightful conversation which will change the course of Beaufort forever.

Attend the Beaufort Board of Commissioners meeting on Monday, May 8 at 6:00 p.m. at the Beaufort Train Depot, 615 Broad Street. Arrive early and you can sign up for a 3-minute expression of your thoughts on the future of our town.


(7) comments

David Collins

The developer only wants to make money and could care less about the consequences to the town . Anyone that can not see that lives on an alternate planet . Developers promise , or imply , but will never put anything in writing . They are more experienced and smarter than that .To go blindly forward on a hope and a promise , well , you deserve what you get .

Then there are the back room deals but that is the stuff of conspiracy theories . Certainly not applicable in this case .

Good luck !


Valid points, esp about getting promises in writing rather then words and a power point. A low income " zone" hmm sounds familiar " projects' is another word, not terrible when shiny and new, a few yrs down the road what then?

When exactly has clumping the poor into a small specific area brought peace and prosperity to any area?

the secret life of man

Trust but verify,wise words from a wise man.The letter written brings up many hurdles(a lawyers billable hours dream).But,will you be better off than you are now.Affordable housing that includes section 8?At what financial cost will this bring to all residents of Beaufort?Opening up a can of worms like this is going to bring extreme challenges not worth the the money that an unimprovement like this will facilitate.Equity, the new buzzword in not for Beaufort.Keep Beaufort quaint.Interstate 42 is coming,thats why all the low rent developers are sweetening the pot of fools gold for this BHA.Carteret county is the vulnerable target with its (good ole'boy mentalities)and the financial predators know it. Vote no, protect this very old,historic town from the carpetbaggers.


I think we never learn from the past. Grouping people because of their income doesn't work out. Never has. Building a low income neighborhood is what we need to avoid. This is just really bad business. If they would like to build an apartment building and all the rules are the same that's fine. If the state needs to supplement on some rent there fine. Do that. It's just common sense. Keep building until the rent drops.


How long do you think it will take before the crime sets in, once these areas are opened? I would say less than a year. They have to get used to the hood they moved into first.

David Collins

The first vote failed . More “research needed” . Now the for housing folks will ramp up the pressure and all that goes with such pressure . Will the board fold and whimper away into the darkness ? Time will tell . Always does .

the secret life of man

I reiterate,possibly,the commissioners will force the citizens against this ghastly BHA debacle to employ an attorney to defend their position.The point,you the constituents are paying for your own lawyers to fight the lawyers your taxes pay for.You the constituents may get slapped twice Billable hours(lots of them)to defend your position trying to keep Beaufort safe and clean for foreseeable future.A lesson here,VOTE RESPONSIBLY or you will get hoodwinked again.

Welcome to the discussion.

As a privately owned web site, we reserve the right to edit or remove comments that contain spam, advertising, vulgarity, threats of violence, racism, anti-Semitism, or personal/abusive/condescending attacks on other users or goading them. The same applies to trolling, the use of multiple aliases, or just generally being a jerk. Enforcement of this policy is at the sole discretion of the site administrators and repeat offenders may be blocked or permanently banned without warning.