Affordable Housing - Research


2011 Ocracoke Housing Map

Ocracoke is a small un-bridged island nestled on the Atlantic Ocean. Widely known for its long sandy beaches, historic fishing culture and natural attractions, it is one of North Carolina’s coastal treasures. The community sprung up in the early 1700’s and three hundred years later has a year-round community of 800 and a tourism population that can reach 10,000 a day during peak season.

Affordable housing is essential for the community to sustain itself.  Young families and singles looking to “establish roots” are the future and existing island residents who want to age-in-place, provide a connection to the past. Both of these groups are finding it more and more difficult to hold onto, purchase or rent affordable, year-round housing.

The village of Ocracoke is 769 square acres. There is no option of sprawl. The year-round population must achieve a balance within its geographical borders. In 2000 Ocracoke’s year-round owner-occupied homes were 38% compared to the National Average of 60%.

Those who work in the tourism industry, watermen, teachers, law enforcement, health care and youth services also struggle to bridge the gap.  Thriving communities require a balanced workforce and can only benefit if people can put down roots.

In 2010 OFI created an affordable housing initiative in response to concern over the lack of affordable housing for teachers and other essential service workers. While working with the community, industry professionals, and public/private organizations, research was conducted to examine and record the needs, possibilities, and potential solutions.

Data on the island’s existing housing situation is complete.  Click here to see a copy of the 2011 housing map.

Inquiries on this research can be directed to Robin Payne, ocacokefoundation@gmail.com or (252) 921- 0365.