‘What affects one of us, affects all of us’; Brookhill Village leaders push for next steps in affordable housing crisis

Push for funding for affordable housing project

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - One of the issues Mecklenburg County voters will decide in less than two weeks is if they will allocate $50 million for low-income and moderate income housing projects.

A recent report said Charlotte is missing 35,000 affordable housing units short of what the city needs. The referendum could help fund projects looking to fill that gap like the Brookhill Village.

That $50 million referendum could help fund projects looking to fill that gap -- like Brookhill Village.

In January, a developer invested $1.5 million into Brookhill Village in an effort to redevelop the area with a promise of affordable housing for it’s current and new residents.

This plan comes at a price. The developer, Tom Hendrickson, requested roughly $10 million from private funds and another $3 million from the city using public funds.

But the proposal for the gap funding from the private Housing Opportunity Investment Fund was denied. It was denied by LISC, a firm hired by the city to distribute private dollars for affordable housing.

“If you thought Lake Arbor was bad a year and a half ago, this is going to be really bad," said Ray McKinnon, president of South Tryon Community Development Corporation.

Roughly 200 people still live in Brookhill Village. Many of the homes have been abandoned. McKinnon says if this project doesn’t go through, there could be families displaced without a place to go.

“It’s not a matter of if development is going to happen here or not, its going to be who’s going to be here when it happens," he said. “I want to be on the side that says who will be here are going to be the people who have been here since the 50′s.”

The group hosted a live stream event on Thursday night to remind people of the rich history and culture of Brookhill Village which has been on South Tryon since 1951.

“When you go through an uproot people and you take away those memories or you take away that legacy...like it takes away identity," said Hannah Hasan, one of the speakers at the livestream event.

“It is certainly all of our issues, what affects one of us, affects all of us. Nothing happens in the vacuum in a city. We should all care what happens in our city," McKinnon said.

Its not clear if city council will vote on anything on Monday but those representatives from Brookhill are hopeful they will get the money.

They tell me the referendum on ballots in Mecklenburg County could help fund the trust where that 3-million dollars would come from.

For the other 10 million, they say will not give up until they get it.

“We’re going to do everything we can to get this gap filled. The cost of doing nothing is too great to bear," McKinnon said.

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