New affordable housing coming to Charlotte

Updated: May. 3, 2019 at 7:38 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - There is a new affordable housing unit coming to Charlotte. City leaders, Bank of America representatives and the developer, NPR Group, held shovels Friday to turn dirt to break ground on Platform Lofts.

It will be multi-family housing consisting of 198 units. It will be one of the first affordable units located on the new Blue Line light-rail extension, located in the 5600 block of North Tryon. The developer says building affordable housing is in the company’s DNA.

"Everybody wants to be back in the neighborhood," NRP Sr. Vice President of Development Aaron Pechota said. "They want to be close to jobs. They want to be close to transit and it was natural for us to go to City Hall in Charlotte and say we want to do affordable housing. We are really good at affordable housing."

The project will cost about $30 million. The City of Charlotte is chipping in $5 million, Bank of America is giving $15 million and NRP Group and the federal government are doing the rest. This is a public private partnership that Bank of America thinks is important. During the last five years Bank of America has financed seven affordable housing projects in Charlotte.

Bank of America says this project is important.

"We are only as good as the communities that we live in," Market President for North Carolina Housing Finance Agency Charles Bowman said. "So everything we can do philanthropically and economically is to help build the city's in the 90 markets we are in across the country."

Charlotte needs between 26,000-30,000 more affordable housing units. The Platform Lofts are scheduled to open in the Spring 2020. Some claim the city is not moving fast enough.

“I can tell everybody that I don’t know if you can look to the city to be able to do all those units,” District 4 Charlotte City Councilman Greg Phipps said. “We are going to need all the help - all hands on deck, so I am glad to see the county’s got something in their budget to be allocated for affordable housing - so we still got the faith community involved. But it’s going to take time. It’s not going to be an overnight thing.”

The units will be set aside for people making 60% or less than the median income in Mecklenburg County. This equals to a family of four making about $44,000 a year.

The developer says once a family moves in they can stay. The prices will remain affordable for at least the next 30 years.

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