"Speak Out" is an expression of opinion from the Editorial Board of WBTV, and is presented by General Manager, Scott Dempsey.
The Charlotte area is teeming with new luxury apartments.
But for tens of thousands of people, the dream of finding affordable housing is nothing short of a nightmare.
Mention “low-income housing,” and visions emerge of failed government complexes.
Units that concentrated poverty and despair under a poorly-built roof.
These places became derisively known as “The Projects.”
But it doesn’t have to be that way. Just look at “Brightwalk” and “Renaissance West” – formerly, “Double Oaks” and “Boulevard Homes.”
These are the shining new examples of affordable housing.
Public non-profits, like The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Housing Partnership, and private companies, like Laurel Street Residential, are bringing this vision to life.
Still, they fight to find welcoming neighbors.
Affordable and low-income housing in 2016 can be beautiful, based on a model of “thirds.”
A third are low-income units…a third workforce housing (think teachers or police officers)…and a third are priced at market rate.
Upkeep and maintenance are taken into account, and it doesn’t stigmatize or stereotype the residents who need assistance.
We applaud this vision. But for it to work, we can be NIMBY – or “Not in My Back Yard” – no more.
We have to say “Yes” to beautiful, safe and affordable housing in backyards across the Charlotte area.