Housing bonds on the ballot would create more affordable options in Charlotte

Housing bonds on the ballot would create more affordable options in Charlotte

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - As voters continue to head to the polls, affordable housing in the city of Charlotte is also on the ballot.

Leondra Garrett moved with her daughter back to Charlotte from Atlanta over a decade ago. Then, finding work was difficult and homelessness knocked.

“I had to find a job and I had to figure my life out and get it back together," she said.

She says with help from the Charlotte Housing Authority, she was able to do just that.

After saving money for five years and submitting an application, she was also able to get a home through Habitat for Humanity.

Access to affordable housing was the key.

“Just because I may not have what the next person have or because I fit in a certain income bracket or category, I should still have adequate housing," she said.

On the ballot for voters to decide is affordable housing bonds totaling $50 million.

According to the city, “housing bonds fund the city’s Housing Diversity Program to increase the supply of safe, quality and affordable housing for low- and moderate-income residents throughout Charlotte.”

GAP financing would go to developers creating mixed-income communities with households earning 80 percent below the area median income, which is around $66,000 per year for a family of four.

“Most of these are working families that need to be in a housing situation where they are paying no more than 30 percent of their annual income for their housing expenses," said Pamela Wideman, director of housing and neighborhood services department.

Money for the bonds is already approved in the city budget.

Trevor Anderson, a single father, hopes the money can help bring more affordable housing back to Charlotte.

“A lot of times things, multi-family and single-family, are available outside the city. But when you work inside the city, that’s another story. That’s a 20 minute ride there and back," he said.

In the 2020 Charlotte-Mecklenburg State of Housing Instability & Homelessness report released last month, county officials found permanent, affordable housing is decreasing, but as growth continues so the need. The city is short nearly 32,000 affordable rental housing units.

“We have a lot of house less neighbors; we have a lot of people with nowhere to go. We have a lot of people with pending evictions. With this money they will be able to provide housing for them and building housing where they can afford to stay there," added Garrett.

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