Vacant Public Land in Uptown - Where is the Affordable Housing Plan?
by Peter Kelly
Over the past several months we have asked for your support for affordable housing in several large development projects (e.g. Brooklyn Redevelopment, 7th & Tryon, 8th & Tryon) where the main argument for not including Affordable Housing has been timing. These projects began before the current Elected Officials Focus on Affordable Housing, the party line is that it was TOO LATE to add additional requirements. The argument has not been that there should not be Affordable Housing in Uptown, but we had MISSED the OPPORTUNITY.
We would like to challenge City Council, County Commissioners & Center City Partners to develop a STRATEGY to leverage the 25+ Acres of VACANT UPTOWN land owned by Public Entities. We looked at property records to locate Publicly owned lots. (NOTE: We included Inlivian (Formerly CHA) because it is chartered by the City and receives Federal Funding).
City 7+ Acres
County 11+ Acres
Inlivian (CHA) 7+ Acres
Total Public Land 25+ Acres
The community has several longer-term planning programs underway (Charlotte 2040 Plan, ALL In 2040) that we strongly believe should include a strategy to focus on Affordable Housing in Uptown. All people deserve the opportunity to live close to their work location. We know that many of the workers are Essential workers, that keep Uptown operating daily. They are earning substantially less than the Area Median Income (AMI) of $83,500 and can not afford the Market Rate for apartments in Uptown.
There has been much talk from Elected Officials and Business Leaders about a renewed Stronger Commitment to improving the Wealth and Income disparity in our community. We all know we were “LAST” among the top 50 cities in Upward Mobility. The increased ‘awareness’ of the racial inequities has everyone promising to start ‘Doing Things Differently’. We are highlighting ONE Opportunity to demonstrate that we can as a community commit to a change in our decision-making processes.
We urge the development of an integrated Uptown Affordable Housing Strategic Plan leveraging the vacant public land. Please demand from your elected officials that the Community will not accept a future new Development project in Uptown where we hear “WE MISSED the OPPORTUNITY” on Affordable Housing.