Charlotte Housing Authority celebrates 80th birthday with name change

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The city of Charlotte is redefining its affordable housing.

The Charlotte Housing Authority is celebrating its 80th birthday by changing its name to Inlivian, which was chosen by Charlotte residents.

In an exclusive interview with Channel 9's Erica Bryant, Inlivian CEO and President Fulton Meachem said the change is more than semantics.

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The goal is to lift the stigma that can come with affordable housing.

"Our new name,  Inlivian, based off a word enliven, means to restore life into," Meachem said. "We feel like that is a better description of us than the Charlotte Housing Authority."

Workforce housing complex Vistas at 707 is an example of Inlivian's new look.

The apartments are part of a multimillion dollar investment on Seigle Avenue near uptown Charlotte.

"Eleven years ago this was Piedmont Courts," Meachem said. "It was a really tough public housing community -- basically obsolete, had crime."

[SPECIAL SECTION: Affordable Housing Crisis]

Meachem said instead of concentrated poverty, the complex is now a mixed-income community.

"Moving away from only having families that need subsidies here, but really making it an inclusive community where you have people that may be middle income to affluent families living here," he siad.

A one-bedroom apartment at Vistas at 707 is $650 a month for someone with a qualifying income of $35,000 a year. That rate is about half the price of other apartments in uptown.

Private townhomes, which are selling for up to $500,000, are next door.

The agency has more than 40 properties, serving more than 20,000 residents.

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Many of the residents have faced barriers because of a negative stereotypes surrounding public housing.

But properties like Vistas at 707 are changing the landscape and perceptions.

Over the next five years, Inlivian plans to build about 1,000 new apartments and use its programs to help residents with education, jobs and child care.

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