CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The YWCA of the Central Carolinas is on a mission, not only to empower women but to also put a roof over their heads. The organization announced this week plans to build an affordable housing apartment community in Charlotte.
“And so, we’re talking about using the front parcel, about 3.5 acres to create 104 affordable housing units of one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartment homes,” YWCA CEO Kirsten Sikkelee said.
Sikkelee says the new apartment community will be built at their Park Road location, located at 3420 Park Road, in Charlotte. Back in the ’60s, a family gave the 10-acre piece of land to the YWCA for $100.
Sikkelee says she’s excited this new project will allow them to use the land that was once given to them, to give back to the community. She says the apartments will be aimed at renting to people making between 30- and 60- percent of the area median income, meaning between $24,000 and $47,000 for a family of 4.
“The rents have gone up significantly over the last few years and the incomes have not,” says Sikkelee, “If you work in Charlotte you should be able to live in Charlotte.”
This particular YWCA location is directly across the street from multi-million-dollar homes. Sikkelee says residents of the new community will not only live in Charlotte but will live a life many spend thousands of dollars a month for. There will be access to the YWCA’s facilities and programs, including a swimming pool and playground, in addition to nearby conveniences.
“You can get to Park Road Shopping Center which is three blocks away, where you can shop for your groceries, get a cup of coffee, or work,” says Sikkelee.
Sikkelee says the project is being done in partnership with the Housing Partnership and has already been gifted a $3-million-dollar grant from the Gambrell Foundation.
The YWCA currently has 66 units of housing for women and 10 for families through its Women in Transition and Families Together programs at their Park Road location, but the programs are temporary. Sikkelee says the new units being built will be similar-to most other apartment communities and will not have a restriction on the length of stay.
With data showing Charlotte still short roughly 30,000 affordable housing units, Sikkelee says she hopes others will follow suit.
“That others who might have a similar opportunity with land can look at it and say what might I do?” she said.
WCNC Charlotte was told design plans for the apartments have not yet been finalized, but Sikkelee says construction is expected to be completed in 2023.