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Charlotte Looks At Selling Or Donating Land For Affordable Housing

The City of Charlotte also is planning to buy the old Double Oaks Elementary School site off Statesville Road for future affordable housing.
Mecklenburg County Commission
The City of Charlotte also is planning to buy the old Double Oaks Elementary School site off Statesville Road for future affordable housing.

Charlotte officials are looking at selling or donating city-owned land as part of a campaign to spur construction of affordable housing. 

Last month, the city council adopted a new "housing framework" to push its affordable housing goals and one of the tactics is to use city land. On Monday, City Housing Director Pamela Wideman told council members they have several options:

"The sale of city-owned property for affordable homeownership, we have some opportunities there. We have some opportunity to purchase land for affordable housing.  You all, if you choose, you'll have the opportunity to donate land," Wideman said.

The city also has asked developers to submit proposals for developing affordable units on city-owned land, she said. 

Wideman outlined land sales in the city's pipeline that come up for votes at the council Oct. 8:

  • Selling one-quarter acre at Parkwood Avenue and the Plaza to a developer, in exchange for one affordable unit among the five to be built. 
  • Selling one-third of an acre on Matheson Avenue for a project of three single-family homes that would include one affordable unit.
  • Selling 1.4 acres on Spencer Street for 59 townhomes, 10 percent of which must be affordable.

All three projects would target those making less than 80 percent of the area median income, or about $59,000 a year for a family of four.  All the new affordable units would have deed restrictions requiring them to remain affordably priced for 15 years.
The city would lose money on some of the land sales. But, Wideman said, "what you're getting in exchange is really the opportunity for someone to live in an area of high opportunity, gain wealth, (and) achieve economic mobility in that area of high opportunity."  

The city will also vote Oct. 8 on whether to donate nine acres it owns near the airport to Habitat for Humanity for 47 single-family affordable homes and to acquire the 11-acre former Double Oaks Elementary School off Statesville Avenue that would be used later for affordable housing.

Meanwhile, Wideman gave council members an update on its requests for proposals, or RFPs, for other city-owned land.  So far, three developers have responded with ideas for five city-owned sites, including a 38-unit project on LaSalle Street, 120 units on North Tryon Street, 190 units at Toomey Avenue and Freedom Drive, and 72 units on West Tyvola Road. 

The city also recently signed a deal with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Housing Partnership to sell land on Scaleybark Road south of uptown. That project would include up to 100 units for people earning 30 to 80 percent of the area median income. 


Sept. 24, 2018, "Affordable Housing Overview: Publicly Owned Land,"Pamela Wideman's presentation to the council (PDF)

David Boraks previously covered climate change and the environment for WFAE. See more at www.wfae.org/climate-news. He also has covered housing and homelessness, energy and the environment, transportation and business.