Affordable Housing

Charlotte skyline at dusk
silicon640c / Flickr / https://www.flickr.com/creativecommons/by-2.0/

Charlotte residents can add their voices to the city’s ongoing discussions about affordable housing during Monday's City Council meeting.  

Sonja Chisholm runs Gracious Hands, a transitional housing home in northwest Charlotte.
David Boraks / WFAE

Charlotte native Sonja Chisholm was working as a supervisor at a soft-drink distributor when she and a friend founded the non-profit, Gracious Hands, in 2015. It's what's called a "transitional home" - a place for homeless women and their children to stay while they're working their way toward permanent housing.

Lyn Alexis, 25, lives at Gracious Hands with her daughter, Iori, 5.
David Boraks / WFAE

Affordable housing is a top priority for Charlotte city leaders.  It takes many forms - from workforce housing for moderate-income residents, to subsidized housing for those with very low incomes. There's also transitional housing, aimed at helping people move from homelessness to permanent housing.

Gracious Hands is one of a handful of low-cost temporary housing programs in the city.

Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles spoke during the city council retreat in Durham Thursday.
David Boraks / WFAE

Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles says the city is about two-thirds of the way toward a three-year goal to add 5,000 affordable housing units. But that's far short of what's needed, and existing units are disappearing as well. So the council spent a day at its annual budget retreat in Durham Thursday exploring ideas. 

From left, Mayor Vi Lyles, City Manager Marcus Jones and at-large council member Braxton Winston listen to a presentation on economics.
David Boraks / WFAE

The Charlotte City Council is in Durham for three days this week for its annual budget and planning retreat. The main topic Thursday was a major council priority - how to preserve and create more affordable housing. WFAE's David Boraks is at the retreat and talked with host Mark Rumsey.

County commissioners Wednesday night approved an exchange of land with the Charlotte Housing Authority that will allow the expansion of Pearl Street Park off Kenilworth Avenue. The deal also could lead to more affordable housing in the Midtown area.

Mecklenburg County Commissioners could give final approval Wednesday night to a land swap with the Charlotte Housing Authority in the Midtown area. The swap would trigger a complex series of deals that are part of a major redevelopment.

Activist Bree Newsome (right) talks with Atlantic staff writer and Charlotte native Vann Newkirk II.
David Boraks / WFAE

A wave of police shootings in recent years has left authorities in Charlotte and across the nation searching for ways to rebuild trust. Speakers at a forum uptown Tuesday organized by The Atlantic magazine focused on the city's history of racism and segregation as well as a criminal justice system that they say treats people of color and those with lower incomes unfairly.

Charlotte City Council Members Lawana Mayfield and Ed Driggs are responding to a report that finds Charlotte's need for affordable housing far exceeds the 5,000 units city council has pledged to create in the next three years.

City council was informed by city staff on Monday that at least 34,000 units of affordable housing are needed, especially for low-income residents.

Chris Kizzie of Enterprise Community Advisors (right) and Pamela Wideman of the city's Housing and Neighborhood Services department gave a presentation on affordable housing to the city council Monday.
David Boraks / WFAE

City officials say Charlotte is nearly halfway to a goal set last year of creating 5,000 affordable housing units over three years. But at the Charlotte City Council Monday night, council members, staff and citizens all said it's not enough - especially for those with very low incomes.

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