Tax Increment Grants can be used to help increase Affordable Housing!
by P. Kelly
A Tax Increment Grant (TIG) is a tool used by City/County to partner with private developers to enable projects that promote economic growth and land use planning goals. The simple mechanics result in an amount of investment by City/County into the project. This tool has been used historically by City/County to attract new businesses and to assist in the development of large projects that will lead to economic development.
We strongly believe that Affordable Housing should be considered an economic development goal that can leverage the use of TIGs. The greater Charlotte Community can not continue to prosper without addressing the Affordable Housing Crisis. As experienced in other larger cities, businesses will find it difficult to hire staff that can not afford to live in the city with our limited public transit capabilities.
Leveraging the use of TIGs for affordable housing would significantly increase the development/refurbishment of more Affordable Housing Units particularly at lower AMI (Area Median Income) levels. This would serve as another source of funding to help the Affordable Housing projects pencil out (financially viable).
This would also enable the County to invest in Affordable Housing directly on an ongoing basis. The most recent County Commissioners have been increasing their focus on the Affordable Housing Crisis and this would provide them with another tool to accelerate development/refurbishment.
Finally, this would give the City another tool to use with the current Housing Trust Fund and Charlotte Opportunity Investment Fund (CHOIF) in partnership with local philanthropic sources.
The City policies already enable the use for affordable housing projects. Per the City’s Economic Development Page:
“TIGs are provided on a reimbursement basis only and the project must demonstrate its benefit to the general public. Examples of reimbursable improvements through a TIG include but are not limited to, new public infrastructure such as roads, streetscapes, and parking decks. A TIG may also be employed to assist in gap funding for developments shown to achieve the City’s goals and objectives (e.g. affordable and workforce housing, job creation, etc.) but would not be financially feasible without assistance from the City.”
We encourage you to reach out to your elected officials to advocate for the expansion of the economic development use of TIGs to include affordable housing.