City Council To Vote On New Policy For Locating Affordable Housing

Jan 13, 2019

Charlotte City Council members Monday evening will get updates on the city’s affordable housing partnerships. A council vote is also scheduled on changes to the policy that guides where new affordable housing units are built.   

Charlotte’s affordable housing initiatives have new momentum this year, following November’s voter approval of $50 million in housing bonds. At least another $75 million is coming from partners including the Foundation for the Carolinas, corporations, houses of worship and a New York City-based nonprofit, Local Initiatives Support Corporation. 

Foundation for the Carolinas has indicated it will boost its financial commitment to affordable housing —council members could learn more about that Monday night. 

The council is expected to also vote on an updated policy designed to guide the city’s decisions on where new affordable housing units are built. The current policy, adopted in 2011, was aimed at spreading subsidized housing across the city and promoting diversity in neighborhoods.

Under the existing policy, some neighborhoods were supposed to be off-limits for new subsidized housing, to avoid further concentration of such housing. But developers sometimes requested, and the city usually granted, waivers to its own policy.

City staffers and a council committee have recommended a new set of guidelines designed to determine where new affordable housing will be built, based on a 'scorecard' of priorities. Those factors include access to public transportation and jobs, and consideration of neighborhoods that are in transition.

City leaders say Charlotte has nearly met a goal set in 2016 to create 5,000 affordable housing units within three years. The city hasn’t announced a specific goal for future construction.