CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Affordable housing is a major problem in Charlotte. It is estimated that the city is lacking more than 20,000 affordable housing units. Leaders have said it will take years to catch up. Politicians and private organizations are now stepping up to help.
Also helping out is a local builder, Zarig Terae Hill. He goes by Terae. The name of his business is The Cliff Group. He flips homes for profit. He says he has flipped about 100 homes since he’s been here in Charlotte. He says flipping homes is lucrative. Hill says he already targeted 14 homes to flip for a profit. He says he was ready to proceed with his mission until a divine intervention interrupted his plans.
“One day God spoke to me and said no I don’t want you to fix and flip those,” The Cliff Group leader Terae Hill said. “You are going to turn these into affordable home communities.”
Hill says he has never built affordable housing before and that’s not stopping him from doing what he can do to help others. He says in addition to hearing from God - he says listening to the neighbors he was potentially displacing because of his flipped homes - simply got to him.
“They were looking at me like the bad guy,” Hill said. “Yes - cause they were looking at me like you know we don’t have anyplace to go.”
Hill says there are challenges when it comes to affordable housing. He says he had investors who were behind him but when he told them he was doing affordable housing - they abandoned him.
“The biggest challenge is trying to find someone to partner with,” Hill said. “We have to find a non-profit company to partner with, so we can actually qualify for the city funds.”
Hill says once he can qualify for city funds - the city will be able to step in and assist. The city will be able to provide help for people to make down payments to purchase a home. Hill says making a profit is now not his top priority - it is helping people.
“When you do things that you love to,” Hill said. “And if you are honest and sincere about it - it’s going to come - so we are not chasing the money.”
The Cliff Group has identified some land to build up to 64 affordable homes. Hill says in a little over a year - hopefully homes will be there for people to live in. He says this current project will displace about a dozen people but he wants them to have the first opportunity to live in the brand new homes he will build.
“That’s going to be like hitting the lottery,” Hill said. “It’s no better feeling than to be able to help someone with their first affordable home, and be a part of that - I will probably cry.”