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Can Charlotte Hit Its Affordable Housing Goal?


TUESDAY, JAN. 31, 2017

Charlotte wants to build 5,000 affordable housing units in three years, but it seems they have few tools at their disposal to make it happen. What can they do?

After the Keith Scott protests last fall, Charlotte City Hall set goals for addressing the social and economic concerns that boiled to the surface, including an issue city leaders have long wrestled with – affordable housing.

The city had already set a goal to have 5,000 new affordable housing units built within the next five years. Now, the city wants those units built in three years. That’s still far short of the 34,000 units it’s been said the city needs.

But the city is hampered in how it can reach its goal. For one, state law says the city can’t impose an affordable housing quota for the flood of apartment complexes going up. Rising rents are another stumbling block, with prices expected to rise nearly three percent this year.

Reaching the 5,000 unit goal could require the city to loosen up its long-standing effort to disperse affordable housing so that it’s not pocketed in poor parts of town.

One City Councilwoman’s suggestion for helping the affordable housing crunch? A moratorium on new apartments, a move that’s also banned by the state.

So what CAN the city do? Mike Collins looks at what's being considered as part of the post-Keith Scott housing goals?


LaWana Mayfield, Charlotte City Council, District 3 (@lawanamayfield)

Joe Padilla, executive director, Real Estate and Building Industry Coalition (@REBIC)

Ely Portillo, business and development reporter, The Charlotte Observer (@ESPortillo)