Residents weigh in on how Charlotte decides what areas get more affordable housing

Residents weigh in on how Charlotte decides what areas get more affordable housing
Published: Aug. 21, 2018 at 8:53 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 22, 2018 at 12:02 AM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Lynn Sturdivant works for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School district and says there was a time she could not find a place to live.

"I'm thinking I'm making a good salary, and when I got out here to try to find an apartment, I couldn't even find one that I could afford," she says.

Tuesday night, she joined dozens of others in west Charlotte to help brainstorm a solution. Conversation centered around the city's Housing Locational Policy.

"It's old and it doesn't reflect today's current housing landscape," Pam Wideman of Charlotte's Housing & Neighborhood Services says.

The policy helps council decide where affordable housing will be built and how it's dispersed across the area.

"Our goal overall is to create mixed income communities," Wideman says. "Certainly in such a way that some of our citizens many of our citizens who work in Charlotte can also live in Charlotte."

The policy hasn't been updated since 2011, when the city looked much different.

Now, with statistics showing about 60 people moving here a day, officials say Charlotte is in desperate need of more than 21,000 units for those considered "very" to "extremely low" income.

Those same city officials say the locational policy must change.

"[To] make sure we recognize the current housing environment as we're drafting these policies," Wideman says.

Proposed changes include a new score-card when a developer wants to build affordable housing, to more intensely consider an area's concentration of poverty, gentrification, and proximity to transit, among other things.

Charlotteans like Sturdivant joined the group Tuesday, tossing around ideas for change. She's no longer worried about the roof over her head, but is worried for others.

"I don't want anyone else to go through that because that's a really scary feeling, especially when you're single, that oh my gosh, if I fall down and break my leg and I can't go to work, I might be homeless like in a minute," she says.

There will be four more meetings to both inform residents of these possible changes and solicit feedback from the community:

Tuesday, August 21
CMPD West Service Center
4150 Wilkinson Boulevard

Thursday, August 23
Myers Park United Methodist Church
1501 Queens Road

Tuesday, August 28
East Stonewall AME Zion Church
1729 Griers Grove Road

Thursday, September 6 *
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center (Room 267)
600 East 4th Street

Tuesday, September 11
Greater Providence Baptist Church
2000 Milton Road

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