CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A local church community is seeking solutions in addressing the affordable housing crisis in the Queen City.
First Presbyterian Church of Charlotte hosted a faith-in-housing summit Sunday afternoon. It brought together several affordable housing experts from the area.
As the Charlotte population continues to grow so does the need for affordable housing.
“The reality is that low-cost rental housing in charlotte is fast disappearing,” said Judy Seldin-Cohen, author and community advocate.
According to the city’s Housing and Neighborhood Services Department, 32,000 affordable units are needed to meet the need.
“The average rent is now 1,400 dollars a month,” said Seldin-Cohen. “That prices out most caregivers, firefighters, bus drivers, fast food workers and even some school teachers.”
First Presbyterian Church leadership is looking at creative ways it can make the best use of the resources they have to help.
Reverend Pen Peery is the Senior Pastor.
“As a church, we own the parking lot that sits across poplar street and we bought that lot in 1984 and we have been thinking of how to use the property since we bought the lot,” said Peery.
Although the church does not have current plans for the parking lot it is sparking the discussion through its summit.
“There are so many ways you can utilize a piece of land, still get a return on it but still meet your mission,” said Julie Porter, president of Dreamkey Partners.
Panelists say although the process is complex providing land for affordable housing developments is something churches in charlotte have already started doing. They add land is a scarce resource and faith groups can play a crucial role in providing homes for needy families.
“We can’t do this alone,” said Porter. “We have to have partners who are also embedded in charlotte and often times it’s the faith-based organization.”
First Presbyterian Church says this is one of many summits it’s hosting to strategize how it can better serve the community.