Affordable housing: Brookhill project hits roadblock

By Jonathan Limehouse and Janey Tate
October 12, 2020

The team behind New Brookhill is at a fork in the road with plans to provide affordable housing after a gap funding request managed by Local Initiatives Support Corporation was denied Wednesday.

QCity Metro obtained an Oct. 7 email from LISC Charlotte Executive Director Ralphine Caldwell to Tom Hendrickson and Patricia Garrett of Lookout Ventures. The email cites three reasons for not supporting the $13 million request that would redevelop the Brookhill Village site in South End.

New Brookhill is planned as a 324-unit mixed-income rental community on roughly 16 acres located at South Tryon Street and Remount Road. To meet affordable housing goals, the project team proposed 65 units for people making 30% of the area’s median income, 97 at 60% AMI, two at 80% AMI and 160 at market rates. Construction would occur in phases, with current residents given priority to move into the new units.

Charlotte’s affordable housing crisis was spotlighted once again with the recent release of Mecklenburg County’s Housing and Homelessness study. Research showed a shortage of 23,060 units of affordable and available housing for households whose income is below 30% AMI. The study found that 81,611 renter households are cost-burdened, spending more than 30% of their income on housing-related expenses. At 30% AMI, a household of four can afford to pay $655 per month, whereas the fair market rate for a two-bedroom apartment is $1,063.

Hendrickson described New Brookhill as “the last opportunity for significant affordable housing in the rapidly growing South End area, with proximity for working families to jobs, services and amenities in Charlotte’s center city.”

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This story was produced by the Charlotte Journalism Collaborative, a partnership of six media companies working together in an effort started by the Solutions Journalism Network and funded by The Knight Foundation.