CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Brookhill Village has a new owner. He vows to make change to the area that will include affordable housing and a better way of life for neighbors.
Brookhill Village has been around for nearly 70 years offering low rent to many people. More than 100 people still call Brookhill Village home, but some have complained about roaches and mold in their homes.
“We’re in the middle of one of the most prosperous areas in our country,” Brookhill Village owner Tom Hendrickson said. “And yet we have people on this property living in housing that you or I wouldn’t live and I’m not willing to ask someone to live in something I wouldn’t live in.”
Hendrickson is investing about $1.5 million into Brookhill Village. He says he has been interested in the apartment complex for several years.
"Appreciating the history it's had," Hendrickson said. "Honoring the legacy that it's had, but bringing back with housing that has dignity to it and giving every current resident the first chance to apply for the affordable units."
The plan is to build a new Brookhill that will include 324 units. 160 of them will go for market rate and the rest will be some type of affordable housing. 65 units will be for people making about 30 percent of the average median income (AMI), 97 units for people making 60 percent AMI and two units for people making 80 percent AMI. Hendrickson says those two will be reserved for police officers.
The new owner says there will be enough affordable units so that none of the current residents will be displaced.
"We really have worked hard to come up with a program that can accommodate all of the current residents," Hendrickson said. "Who are here - who want to stay and qualify."
Brookhill Village takes up about 32 acres. Hendrickson says the land is big enough where construction can start on the affordable housing and not displace neighbors who are still living in Brookhill. Once the affordable housing units are finished, qualified neighbors will be able to move right into their new homes.
“I think it’s great,” neighbor Carla Black said. “Anything new is great - because these are shot. These old ones are shot.”
Black is also appreciative that during construction, she will not have to move.
"You don't have to get storage room for your furniture," Black said. "And find somewhere to go."
This plan comes at a price. Hendrickson is in need of about $15 million to make affordable housing happen. He wants the community to chip in. He is optimistic somebody will partner with him. He doesn't want to think about the money not coming.
"That's really not an acceptable alternative in my mind." Hendrickson said. "I'm still following the mantra - failure is not an option. We're going to find the money from somewhere, somebody, somehow and I'm stop stopping until we do."
The plan also calls for developing the land to offer economic boost for the area.
"We've talked about folks about a healthcare facility," Hendrickson said. "Obviously there are restaurants and bars."
Black hopes this will work out. She is looking forward to move into a better affordable home. She's been at Brookhill Village for about seven years.
"We ain't got no choice but to be patient," Black said. "We ain't got nowhere to go."
Hendrickson says once the funding comes, it could take about a year before new affordable units will be built.