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'I want to be part of that answer' | A Charlotte woman's mission to build more affordable senior housing

Eliza Hammond is taking the mission into her own hands and seeking solutions.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Living in Charlotte, one of the fastest-growing cities, comes with a price. The cost of renting or buying a home has skyrocketed and many people can't afford to live here. 

Now, a Charlotte woman is on a mission to help solve the affordable housing crisis, drawing on her own experiences from childhood.

“We had times when we had to live in affordable housing,” said Eliza Hammond.

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Growing up, Hammond and her twin were raised by their single mother. They needed extra help to have a roof over their head. 

“It has allowed us to become who we are today,” Hammond said. 

These days, Hammond sees Charlotte changing. Rents are rising, development is running rampant, and all this growth is pushing out long-time residents. 

“The elderly is one of the fastest growing populations of homelessness and when I heard that it broke my heart,” Hammond said.

Now, at 44 years old, her life journey is starting to look different. 

“I am a pharmacist by trade," Hammond said. "I’ve been a pharmacist for 14 years with Atrium Health, but I am building affordable housing.”  

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It will be called Legacy Lake Senior Apartments, located in east Charlotte off Albemarle Road and Mallard Drive. It will feature more than 30 units and is for seniors only. The city has given the green light by recently rezoning the area for affordable housing, but building isn't easy. 

“I love Charlotte, but something has to change. The people who work here need to be able to live here and I want to be a part of that answer,” Hammond said.

But Hammond says right now she faces challenges, and the biggest hurdle is money. 

The city of Charlotte does have the Housing Trust Fund, which provides money to developers to cover the cost of building affordable developments. But Hammond is still new to the affordable housing space and needs more guidance before reaching out.  

“Letting them know my heart, and let them know I’m serious about this, this would be the first of many,” Hammond said. 

She's hopeful she'll leave a legacy of giving back after her family needed help finding a place to call home. 

If you would like to assist Hammond in her quest to build affordable housing she can be reached at ehammond@eclegacyproperties.com.

Contact Lexi Wilson at lwilson@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

WCNC Charlotte is part of the Charlotte Journalism Collaborative (CJC), launched by the Solutions Journalism Network with funding from the Knight Foundation. The CJC strengthens the local news ecosystem and increases opportunities for engagement. It is supported by a combination of local and national grants and sponsorships. For more information, visit charlottejournalism.org.  

This story is part of ‘I Can’t Afford to Live Here,’ a collaborative reporting project focused on solutions to the affordable housing crisis in Charlotte. WCNC Charlotte is committed to reporting on the issues facing the communities we serve, including affordability. We tell the stories of people working to solve persistent social problems. We examine how problems can be solved or addressed to improve the quality of life and make a positive difference. 

WCNC Charlotte is seeking solutions for you by providing the following assistance programs in Charlotte:


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