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Plans moving forward for affordable apartment living space for Charlotte seniors

The hope is to begin breaking ground by September.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — More growth is on the way for the West Side Community Land Trust.

Plans are moving forward to develop a 120-unit affordable apartment living space for seniors. Bank of America helped to make it happen through a grant. 

"We’re seeing that our residents don’t have to come out of the community to get anything, they can have it in walking distance," lifelong West Side resident Brenda Campbell said. 

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There's a vision brewing for the future of more than four acres of wooded area along West Boulevard. That vision begins with the development of 120 apartment units for affordable senior living. 

It comes after months of negotiation with the developer. The West Side Community Land Trust reached an agreement to buy the land for more than $1.1 million and lease it back for development, but the community will remain in control. 

RELATED: West Charlotte neighbors expand community land trust to provide affordable homeownership

"Through the land trust model we’re able to ensure a more significant time period," Charis Blackmon, the executive director of West Side Community Land Trust, said. "Forever, 99-plus years for affordability, and our goal for this particular project is to shift these units to homeownership at the end of the tax credit term.” 

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That means those 55 and older who qualify would have a new place to call home without the fear of eventually being forced out. They can also take pride in preserving history -- specifically in memory of Nathaniel Carr, who developed the first African American suburb in the West Corridor near the space where this development will stand. 

"We put a stake here and that stake serves as a landmark for offsetting displacement and gentrification," lifelong West Side resident Rickey Hall said. 

It's a goal Bank of America is also backing, with a significant donation to help support the affordable housing project. 

RELATED: Seeking Solutions: Churches providing affordable housing

"When Bank of America can provide catalytic funding like that the $600,000 that’s unrestricted and that flexibility to use it how it needs to be used is what these organizations need," Jenny Ward with Bank of America said. 

The hope is to begin breaking ground by September. 

Any groups or individuals interested in adding to the Nathaniel Carr Campaign to help cover the repayment costs can contact nathanielcarrcampaign@westsideclt.org

Contact Briana Harper at bharper@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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