HENDERSON — About 90 days after the first piles of dirt were moved for construction, a single-family home project between Corbitt Road and Second Street has taken shape.

Six houses are being built for the lots that line Berry Avenue. Previously, the land there, covering about 1.1 acres, had been vacant.

According to the developer behind the Corbitt-area construction, Daniel White, the project represents an opportunity for his Henderson-based WW Properties to make an impact on home ownership rates, with the intention of inspiring more residential development in the city. White said that’s already happened.

“The ultimate goal here was to build things in the city to promote homeownership, and get homeownership rates up in the city,” he said.

Census data from 2015-19 showed that Henderson’s owner-occupied housing rate of 36.1% was 44% lower than that of the state’s. By comparison, Oxford’s was 45.6% and Roanoke Rapids, a city with comparable demographics to Henderson, was 48.1%.

A housing unit is considered “owner-occupied” in the census survey if the owner or co-owner lives in the unit, even if it is mortgaged or not paid for in full. The homeownership rate is determined by dividing the number of owner-occupied housing units by the number of occupied units or households.

White credited various Henderson leaders for making the Corbitt-area project possible, particularly City Manager Terrell Blackmon and Development Services Director Corey Williams.

The lots off of Corbitt were rezoned from “Highway Commercial” to “High Density Residential” and White also secured a special-use permit from the Henderson Zoning Board of Adjustment.

“My initial thoughts on the development are that the city needs to see more infill development of this type throughout all areas of the city,” Blackmon wrote in an email to The Dispatch. “There is very little available housing inventory for sale in our community at this time, so any new construction within the city limits is a welcome addition. The city is currently engaged with UNC School of Government’s Development Finance Institute (DFI) and they have estimated that the city of Henderson is in need of an additional 3,000 housing units.”

Blackmon said that number includes housing of all building types (single and multi-family) and incomes (market rate and workforce housing).

“We’re just trying to do projects in the city that make it better,” White said of WW Properties. “There hadn’t been any new construction to this extent as long as I can remember. This isn’t our first project in town. We started it and there have been some things that have come along since. That was the hope — that once we started and got the ground laid, more people would be coming. And that has happened. There’s a handful of people in town that are building now and I just think it’s better for everyone.”

WW Properties also has three lots with single-family homes under construction in The Links subdivision on Par Drive near the Henderson Country Club golf course.

The brick exterior homes on Par, as well as the units near Corbitt, will have three bedrooms and 2 1/2 bathrooms.

White said the homes on the Corbitt-area lots, being built by Shannon Homes Design Build of Raleigh, are intended to be sold and not leased, although that can be subject to change. The price won’t be available until closer to completion, and that date might be affected by supply chain and weather disruptions.

“I honestly hope they’re done by the first part of the year — maybe January or February,” White said. “But there’s a lot of what-ifs there.”