Charlotte voters to decide on $50 million bond for affordable housing

“I think it’s a start, I think with that we can see where that goes”
The fate of $226 million is in the hands of Charlotte voters for the upcoming November election.
Published: Oct. 31, 2022 at 6:39 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - The fate of $226 million is in the hands of Charlotte voters for the upcoming November election. Three bonds focusing on increasing affordable housing, and improving neighborhoods and streets throughout the city will be decided by voters.

The campaign behind gaining support for the bonds tells WBTV it builds on previous bonds passed in the city and will grow the capacity of affordable housing in Charlotte.

“I’m all in favor of putting the referendums in front of voters,” said Jerry Kingsley, who early voted in Charlotte.

Rochelle Collins, a Charlotte voter, tells WBTV, “I think this is something that has been overdue.”

Also Read: Can you afford rent in Charlotte? A new report outlines the salary needed to live in the Queen City

Voters will decide if 50 million dollars will go towards increasing affordable housing in Charlotte, an issue that’s increasing as more people move to the area and the cost of living goes up.

Janet Labar, the President & CEO of the Charlotte Regional Business Alliance said, “this is a must-have, we absolutely need to continue to invest in our community.”

The $50 million bond for affordable housing will address a list of issues:

- New construction of multi-family homes.

- Preserve existing housing through rehabilitation.

- Homeownership in targeted neighborhoods.

- Housing for seniors, disabled people, and those experiencing homelessness.

“With this next cycle, it can be vital to making sure we’re providing adequate, affordable and workforce housing for our growing region, for our neighbors, for our residents who are looking for a place to live,” said Labar

The National Low Income Housing Coalition identified the Charlotte region as lacking over 45,000 units for extremely low-income renters.

Voters WBTV talked to Monday say affordable housing is an important issue to them.

Kingsley said, “I think it’s incredibly important, we have such a shortage of affordable housing in the city, I mean it’s a nationwide problem, but it’s particularly acute here in Charlotte, especially with the large growth that we’re experiencing.”

Collins added, “I’m glad to see that something is being done about affordable housing, it’s way overdue.”

A recent study by SmartAsset showed a person needed to earn an income of at least 61-thousand dollars to afford a 1-bedroom apartment in Charlotte, and 70-thousand dollars for a 2-bedroom apartment. So, people are hopeful the $50 million will help the issue.

“I think it’s a start, I think with that we can see where that goes and of course, in the future if we need to add to that, I think there’s a possibility of doing that as well,” said Collins.

If this measure passes by voters, it will not raise taxes since it will be included in the city budget.

The bonds allow the city to pay them back over time instead of paying for the projects up front.

Labar said, “bonds are a win, win for our community as we continue to experience growth.”

In the past, bonds have passed in the city with over 60% of support, with the last one passing in 2020.