CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Charlotte City Council is working to make Charlotte more affordable for lower income residents.
The council approved more than $20 million to cover additional costs for already approved affordable housing projects on Monday night.
This comes as ground broke Tuesday on a new affordable housing apartment complex for seniors in west Charlotte. The Historic Nathaniel Carr affordable housing for seniors is part of a project through the West Side Community Land Trust. Carr is credited for creating the first neighborhood in the West Boulevard corridor.
Right now, the demand for affordable housing is almost impossible to keep up with. At the request of neighbors, West Side CLT purchased the 4.54 acre historic tract of land and partnered with developer, Paces-SOHO who agreed to ground lease at a reasonable rent rate.
The development will serve individuals 55+ earning 30%, 60%, and 80% of AMI with rents ranging between $474 - $1,516 for 1 and 2 bedroom units. The land trust model is what will make the development permentently affordable.
“We know we are far behind in what we need for affordable housing, versus what we are actually able to put on the ground,” District 3 Council Member Victoria Watlington said.
The new development on West Boulevard will be a 120-unit apartment complex.
“This is what we’ve been fighting for, for a long time,” Brenda Campbell, vice chair of West Boulevard Neighborhood Coalition, said.
The West Boulevard Neighborhood Coalition is a community-led group promoting economic development for residents and businesses along the West Boulevard corridor. They have been involved in this project and are ensuring the seniors and community have a voice.
“It’s going to be people who live in this community and will be able to come to this facility," Campbell said.
“A lot of seniors have lived here for their entire lives and don’t want to have to be relocated," Steve Bien of Soho Housing Partners said.
Meanwhile, Charlotte City Council approved more money to cover additional market costs for affordable housing.
“The rise in construction costs is an absolute concern," Watlington said.
City leaders say there's a need to re-imagine the way they deliver affordability, but some say throwing more money at the problem isn't the right solution.
“I think it’s looking more holistically at upward mobility where affordable housing is one tool alongside transportation, food, clothing, childcare, workforce development--tools that get them to the upward mobility they need,” District 6 Charlotte City Council Member Tariq Bokhari said.
Fifth Third Bank and LISC were the largest investors in both the land and LIHTC financed development. Construction will be completed in the spring of 2024.