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Churches tackle affordable housing crisis in Charlotte

Caldwell Presbyterian Church is turning an existing church building into 20 efficiency apartments.

Charlotte's faith community is making major moves to ease the city's affordable housing crunch.

WCNC and seven other media partners have committed to a year-long affordable housing initiative -- covering not just the problem but potential solutions.

We've found several churches are getting creative, hoping to reduce the number of people who say, "I can't afford to live here."

"We believe everybody's gotta do their part and this is what we can do."

Caldwell Presbyterian Church is getting serious about Charlotte's affordable housing crisis -- turning an existing church building into 20 efficiency apartments.

"We think this is a building that can facilitate a great community."

The church has partnered with the Charlotte Housing Partnership to run the facility.

"The church's job will simply be to support them and love around them while our partners do the case management."

Caldwell Presbyterian is the latest in a string of churches taking concrete steps to ease the affordable housing crunch.

"When a faith community decides that they want to live their faith by making a difference in affordable housing, they truly can make an impact."

Christ Church Charlotte on Providence Road, Myers Park Presbyterian, Mayfield Memorial, and Covenant Presbyterian are among those developing creative solutions.

"Whether the congregation has money to contribute or whether they have land or buildings to contribute or whether they have volunteers or some combination of all those three."

Judy Seldin Cohen is the board chair for A Way Home, an organization born out of the faith community's desire to make a bigger impact. Now a $20 million endowment, the public-private initiative addresses family homelessness in charlotte.

"Scripture tells us that faith without works is dead."

Renovations on Caldwell's $3.5 million project will begin next year. 

"Our financing will be a combination of public sources as well as private foundation levels as well as least 3/4 of a million-dollar contribution from our church members at Caldwell.

All are working to share the promise of a home for everyone.

"I don't think we can practice our faith fully and not give and not give to our neighbor."

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