CHARLOTTE — Charlotte City councilmembers approved nearly $20 million to cover cost overruns for eight previously approved affordable housing projects. The funds will come from COVID-19 relief dollars and the voter-approved Housing Trust Fund.
Leaders already spent millions on these eight projects. Developers of these projects asked for more funding to cover “extraordinary market conditions.” The approval means more than 700 affordable housing units will be able to be built.
“I know we do not have the money to solve every issue that we have in front of us, but I feel like the most responsible thing we can do with what we have to allocate, is to make an impact where we can,” said District 5 Councilwoman Marjorie Molina.
Three other previously approved projects with funding gaps did not receive city funding. The city says it will keep talking to the developers, who may come back later.
At-Large Councilwoman Dimple Ajmera says the additional funding shows how important building affordable housing is to Charlotte but warns this issue will keep coming up.
“We are talking about cost escalation for the last two or three weeks now,” said Ajmera. “I see this is not going to go away.”
District 6 Councilman Tariq Bokhari says the city needs to rethink its affordable housing strategy. He said the city continues to throw large amounts of money at the priority with little return.
“We have to get more strategic in what we do and that means taking hard lines,” he said. “We want to solve for and we know the current approach isn’t doing anything and this is one of them.”
In exchange for the additional funding, the developers are extending the amount of time they are committed to keeping the homes affordable.
Charlotte City Council approved around $20 million in Covid funds and Housing Trust Fund dollars to cover the cost overruns for 8 affordable housing developments. #CLTCC pic.twitter.com/UjaBhvCuNk— Joe Bruno (@JoeBrunoWSOC9) November 29, 2022
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