Funding will be allocated through Charlotte’s Housing Trust Fund
City of Charlotte leaders are looking to ease the affordable housing crisis and are eyeing several new projects that could bring hundreds of affordable homes to the region.
“The ability for people to afford housing and be able to live in the city is of the utmost importance because cities are made up of people,” Charlotte City Councilman Braxton Winston said.
Funding for a handful of projects was approved during Monday’s Charlotte City Council meeting. It means funding is now available for the development of more than 600 affordable homes. According to information provided to WCNC Charlotte, about 140 units would be geared toward households that make less than 30% of the average median income.
City Council Member Dimple Ajmera previously told WCNC Charlotte it’s a step in the right direction, but added that the need far outweighs what is being proposed.
“I hear the stories where residents are working for minimum wage, working two jobs and still can’t afford to have a roof over their head,” she said. “It is devastating to see so many stories and still not be able to provide housing for every resident.”
Charlotte City Council considered the seven proposals at Monday’s meeting. It included three affordable family-style apartment buildings, three apartment complexes for senior citizens and 17 townhomes that would be put on the market for about $240,000 each.
“It’s going to create more affordable housing units rental plus homeownership opportunities because at the end of the day, we got to give people an option to build generational wealth,” Ajmera said.
The projects will be financed with $12.5 million from the city’s Housing Trust Fund (HTF).
“Our housing trust fund has been a tool,” Winston said. “One of the strongest tools that City Council has had over the past 20 years to build new affordable housing units, but also now preserve existing units.”
Since 2002, roughly $218 million approved by taxpayers has created or preserved more than 10,000 affordable units in the city.
Ajmera said it will take a multi-layered approach to solve the housing crisis.
“We need to continue to invest in workforce development, creating career opportunities that pay a livable wage, and also invest in our public transportation system,” she explained. “Because not every family can afford, on average, $6,000 a year to own a vehicle or to own a car.”