Charlotte city council hears pitch for non-profit funds

Improving Charlotte's affordable housing

RALEIGH, NC (WBTV) - Charlotte city council is hearing plans about what to do with your tax dollars and affordable housing. Voters approved a $50 million bond to invest in affordable housing and now a non-profit wants to help the city maximize those fund but council members want to make sure it’s a safe use of taxpayer money.

LISC (Local Initiatives Support Coalition) is a non-profit investment group that’s self described mission is to “forge resilient and inclusive communities”. Their pitch is to help combine public, private and philanthropic dollars to maximize the investment in affordable housing. But council members are listening closely.

“It’s like a symphony,” LISC CEO Maurice Jones said.

Jones says it’s all about combining different parts and dollars when it comes to affordable housing.

“What we want to make sure they do is collaborate to make maximum impact. 1+1 equals more than two if you can make them collaborate,” Jones said.

That’s his pitch to the charlotte city council Monday at their annual retreat in Raleigh. LISC is offering to manage the funds of the $50 million affordable housing bond, $50 million dollar housing opportunity investment fund managed by thee Foundation of the Carolinas and potentially millions more in dollar land and equity donations from banks to get try and get more results.

“You do not want government dollars to be the first dollars in,” Mayfield said.

There’s some convincing of city council members to do like LaWana Mayfield to make sure it’s a good investment of taxpayer dollars and to make sure taxpayer money receives LISC’s full attention.

“Your first stop is the city of Charlotte not an entity that’s not held responsible by the community,” Mayfield said.

Council member Braxton Winston says the council has to get creative and get experience which is why LISC is making their pitch. It’s expected the city will need 50,000 units of affordable housing by 2050.

“We have an issue that can’t just be quantified simply by units,” Winston said.

Winston wants to make sure success is also measured by quality of living.

“We’re not able to do that right now and that’s where we need to be.”

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