Affordable Housing

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Mecklenburg County officials said last month that a long-time goal of affordable housing on county-owned land in uptown Charlotte isn't financially feasible. But other property owners in the North Tryon Street area think it is, including First United Methodist Church.

Chris Miller / WFAE

Monday, March 9, 2020

The affordable housing crisis has made its way into the Democratic presidential race, more so than in any previous election. 

A rendering of the planned "Ballantyne Reimagined" project.
Northwood Office

Two Charlotte City Council members said a planned redevelopment in Ballantyne needs more affordable housing.

Drawing shows the concept for a redevelopment of two blocks along North Tryon Street in Charlotte.
Charlotte Mecklenburg Library/DaVinci Development Collaborative

Plans for a major redevelopment of two-blocks along North Tryon Street in uptown Charlotte have fallen apart after several partners involved couldn't agree on key issues - including how the project might include affordable housing. County officials say affordable housing won't be part of a new scaled-down version of the  Seventh & Tryon project - though affordable housing could be built outside uptown.

The 104 apartments will be built on the campus of the YWCA, on Park Road.
YWCA Central Carolinas

YWCA Central Carolinas announced plans Thursday to build 104 affordable apartments on its Park Road campus in Charlotte. 


The power of zoning and regulations to encourage or squelch affordable housing was a theme that came up repeatedly Thursday at a Building the Dream housing forum in Charlotte.

Parking lots at Lake Arbor Apartments are empty and the apartments are vacant after the owners ordered everyone out to prepare for renovations - and apparently a sale.
David Boraks / WFAE

All but one tenant has moved out of the run-down Lake Arbor Apartments in west Charlotte after the owners ordered everyone out to make way for renovations. But a legal battle with the landlords continues, and tenants last week won a round — just as it appeared the complex was about to be sold to new investors.

Kiplin Automotive Group

A Charlotte car dealership is offering a place for people living in cars to stay the night while they look for permanent housing.

Habitat Charlotte/Our Towns Habitat

The Habitat for Humanity affiliates in Charlotte and Lake Norman are merging, a move they say will save millions of dollars over the next decade and help them build or repair housing for more low-income families.

Charlotte skyline
James Willamore / Flickr / ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)

We are beginning the second year of our affordable housing series, Finding Home. In 2019, we had a story nearly every Monday on the Charlotte area’s affordable housing crisis. In 2020, Finding Home airs every other Monday on "Morning Edition," And we start with today’s guest, Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles.

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson discusses proposed fair housing rules changes Tuesday at Renaissance West.
David Boraks / WFAE

Federal housing secretary Ben Carson unveiled plans Tuesday in Charlotte to roll back an Obama-era rule aimed at preventing racial segregation in housing. Carson announced a new rule that he says would increase housing choices for families. 

Devloper Nate Bowman talked to residents about his proposed Valea project in Huntersville Wednesday night at the Dellwood Center.
David Boraks / WFAE

A Huntersville housing developer says he's putting on hold a 101-unit project in a historically African American neighborhood because of neighbors' concerns. It's a rare case where organized opposition has given a voice to residents threatened by gentrification. 

Jasmine Johnson and her family now have a rental house in west Charlotte.
David Boraks / WFAE

One of Charlotte's biggest housing stories this year has been the effort to find homes for hundreds of displaced residents at Lake Arbor apartments in west Charlotte.

Charlotte Talks host Mike Collins talks with Vanessa Phillips (center) and Stephanie Little during a public conversation on affordable housing at the Gantt Center last week.
Jeff Cravotta / WFAE

All this year, we’ve brought you stories each Monday that look at the Charlotte area’s affordable housing crisis. Our Finding Home series has had stories that examine the scope of the problem and what’s being done about it. There have been stories of hope, and stories of despair.

key in door lock

Police officers, first responders and public school teachers will soon be eligible for home buying assistance in Mecklenburg County.

'One Job Should Be Enough': How Charlotte's Low-Wage Jobs Make Housing Unaffordable

Nov 4, 2019
A sign in a East Durham Bake Shop advertises it pays a living wage
Emma Foley / Charlotte Observer For Charlotte Journalism Collaborative

Consider Charlotte’s affordable housing crisis as a math problem. Housing costs are too high. Wages are too low. How do you solve it?

So far, the community has focused on half the equation, raising and spending tens of millions to build and subsidize affordable units, while largely ignoring the issue of poverty-wage jobs.

Platform Lofts are under construction on North Tryon Street, across from the Old Concord Road light rail station. Rents will be $600 to just over $1,000 a month. They're being developed by affordable housing developer NRP Group of Cleveland. (David Boraks
David Boraks / WFAE

A report out last month from Mecklenburg County is chock full of numbers that describe the housing pressures facing renters in and around Charlotte. 

A new report from Mecklenburg County says public and private agencies should fight homelessness in the region by collaborating and devoting more resources to those at risk of losing their homes. 

Amy Anderson lives in northwest Charlotte with her son, Aaron, 13. Their business AnderBerry Bracelets is their main income source, and making the monthly rent is a struggle.
David Boraks / WFAE

Mecklenburg County's annual report on homelessness and housing instability shows that despite some progress, the need for lower-cost housing continues to rise in the Charlotte region. The new numbers are a reminder of just how acute the shortage remains, especially for residents at the low end of the income spectrum.

A homeless man sleeps in a bus shelter on East Trade Street during last May's Speed Street Festival uptown.
David Boraks / WFAE

Mecklenburg County's affordable housing crisis is worsening, especially for people of color and at the lowest income levels, according to a new study of homelessness and housing instability.