RALEIGH, N.C. — Coastal counties walloped by hurricanes in past years are getting housing help thanks to a fund marked for building safe and affordable housing.

A grand total of $47 million will be awarded by fall of 2023 for housing that increases community resilience. The N.C. Office of Recovery and Resiliency (NCORR) announced the launch of the third phase of the Affordable Housing Development Fund program May 15. 

The funds will help increase the supply of safe and affordable housing in areas of the state that experienced extreme damages from hurricanes Matthew and Florence, according to the NCORR.

Funds are available for projects in federally identified counties that were most distressed. Scotland, Dublin, Jones, Pamlico, Pender and Bladen counties have priority for funding and are strongly encouraged to apply for county projects, the release said.

Many of these areas were already facing housing issues because the stock of available homes has been low, officials said.

The NCORR also invites local governments to submit applications for funds for single or multi-family housing construction and rehabilitation that are outside of the 100-year floodplain.

Between May 15 and June 27, the NCORR says local governments must send letters of intent for funds before the application period, which begins June 28 and ends Aug. 25.

Letters of intent are non-binding but are mandatory for applicants. For more information on applications and eligibility requirements, visit the Affordable Housing Development Fund website.

Housing has been an issue for counties hard hit by hurricanes in recent years, and last December the head of the agency appeared before a N.C. General Assemby committee to answer questions on why rebuilding remains ongoing, years after storms caused flooding and other impacts.