Affordable Housing Crisis! Are we making Progress??
We are losing ground every year with the number of affordable housing units each year!
How can we hold our elected officials accountable? Simple questions they should be able to answer are: How much did we spend on affordable housing? How many units were built, how many units were renovated (NOAHs)? What programs does the County and City provide to residents to stay in their homes? How much is budgeted for these programs. How many families or individuals were helped?
Our Government created the problem with laws & policies – they should help fix the problem. The issue of systemic racism affects employment, housing, education, criminal justice and financial stability. The obstacles that Blacks and other minorities face include evictions, rental history, criminal record and employment history these are the results of historical and racial bias.
There are 36,000 residents in Mecklenburg County and the City earning less than $35,000 per year but pay more than 50% of their income on rent. In 2014 there were 47,448 units available at a monthly rental rate of $800.00 or less. In 2017 the number of available apartments to rent at a monthly rate of $800.oo or less dropped to 32,653 available units. A decrease of 31.2%. We are losing NOAH units faster than we are building affordable apartments.
Income / wages are not growing as fast as rents are increasing. Charlotte rents have increased 16% between 2007 and 2017. While Income /wages have dropped between 2007 thru 2015, with an increase in 2015 but have remained flat between 2016 thru 2017.
We are driving low income residents out of Mecklenburg County. In 2014 there were 114,769 residents making less than $35,000 and living in Mecklenburg County. In 2017 the number of residents dropped to 105,157 making less than $35,000. That is a decrease of 9,612 residents that no longer live in our Community.
In 2000 Smallwood/Biddlesville, Seversville, Ashley Park/Wesley Heights and Wilmore were 91% African American/Black. In 2017 the same 4 neighborhoods were only 47% African American/Black. Our Neighborhoods are gentrifying faster than what is being discussed.
What are we doing to help?
We must have accurate data & reporting to have an honest dialogue about our state of Affordable Housing. Policies and strategies will help to address the issue. In 2018, The City adopted the Charlotte Housing Framework, Charlotte Residents approved the $50 Million Housing Trust Fund Bound. And private donors matched the HTF Bond with another $50 Million in the Charlotte Opportunity Investment Fund (CHOIF). The Framework established a collaborative effort between the City, LISC, the Foundation for the Carolinas and other Community Partners to allocate funding to build and preserve workforce housing and to help families become self-sufficient.
The Framework has three pillars:
Expand the supply of rental and owner-occupied housing
Preserve the affordability and quality of existing housing
Support family self-sufficiency
The Framework established 3 goals allocating the Housing Trust Fund dollars based on the 3 pillars
19% to Anti-Displacement
40% to New Construction
41% to NOAH’s
In June of 2019 the City approved the 2020 City Budget. It includes the allocation of $12,923,249 of Property Taxes and $8,525,000 of Federal Grants and spending $22,900,000 of the Housing Trust Fund to support Affordable Housing in Charlotte.
The City 2020 Budget allocated:
9% to support Family Self Sufficiency,
44% to preserve affordable existing housing,
5% to expand Home ownership opportunities
42% to expand the supply of high quality housing.
Included in the 2020 Budget City are Mitigation Strategies $8.8 million*
Assist Elderly in Property Tax Relief
Aging in Place (Property Tax Grant) $750,000
Funding for Purchasing / Rehabilitating Older Homes
New Program -SF Housing Acquis/Rehab $750,000
Providing Financing Assistance to Home Repairs
Safe Home Repair Grants $3,000,000
TLC by CLT (Targeted Rehab- Elderly/Grant) $1,000,000
Safe Home - Emergency Repair SF Housing $500,000
Habitat - Critical Home Repair (60% AMI) $375,000
Providing Down payment Assistance for new homeowners
House Charlotte (Down payment Assistance) $2,400,000
*We do not have a report or analysis from City Staff that explains how much of the $8.8 million has been spent or how many individuals or families have been helped.
To date we have spent $28.2 Million of the HTF, $15.4 Million of the CHOIF for a combined total of $43.7 million spent on new developments and NOAH’s. In 2019 the HTF & CHOIF spent $38 Million or 87% on New Development Builds and $5.7 Million or 13% on NOAH rehabs. New Development target was set to 42%, we have spent 87%. While the target for NOAHS was set to 44%, we have only spent 13% on NOAH’s.
We are meeting the goals set by the City staff and City Council. We are losing NOAHs everyday. If we hope to have a chance of addressing the Affordable Housing Crisis, we need timely information and reporting from City Staff. We cannot build / develop our way out of the Crisis.
Please join us! To help advocate for affordable housing with our elected officials, City Staff, County Staff.
Ask Elected Officials Tougher Fact-Based Questions
Call Elected Officials
Meet with Elected Officials
Attend City Council / County Commissioner Meetings
Faith Community – Partner with Agencies like Housing Partnership with either funding or land.
Please open the attached link to review our October 29th presentation with additional details and actions you may take!
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