City of Charlotte working on building apartments to make housing more affordable

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Channel 9 has learned that the city of Charlotte is building apartments to provide more affordable housing.

The city just signed off on 1,300 more units. It is of course going to take a lot more to climb out of this affordable-housing crisis.

In January, hundreds of people stood in the rain all for a shot at living at a new complex on Freedom Drive.

One of them was Tatiyanna Minor.

“The process was very crazy. We had the first day back in January. The line was ridiculous -- it passed the McDonald’s. Kind of had to stand in it the whole time,” said Minor.

She’s one of the few people now living in the Mezzanine on Freedom. Part of it is still under construction.

The project was made possible in part by a $4.5 million investment from Charlotte’s housing trust fund in 2017. In 2018, voters approved $50 million for that fund.

In April, the city of Charlotte voted to spend about $15 million for more than 1,300 units.

Below is a map of their locations.

Housing and neighborhood services director Pam Wideman told Channel 9’s Joe Bruno that the money will go a long way, especially now.

“I like to tell people affordable housing was a need before COVID-19 and it certainly is a need as a result of COVID-19,” said Wideman.

The project includes:

  • Evoke at Arrowood — 168 units near one of Central Piedmont Community College’s campuses.
  • Mineral Springs Commons — 73 units on the piece of land near a northeast Charlotte church.
  • 194 new beds for the shelter on Statesville Avenue.

Councilman Malcolm Graham said COVID-19 increased and magnified the need for affordable housing.

“It’s impacted it in a tremendous type of way. One of the major variables is to shelter in place. When you don’t have a home, or place to call home, to do that, it makes it extremely difficult,” said Graham.

  • Graham is in charge of the city’s COVID-19 affordable-housing task force, which will be looking at things like:
  • Should leaders develop on city-owned land.
  • Should the city pursue container or tiny homes.
  • If voters approved an additional $50 million in November, should it be spent differently.

“The affordable-housing problem in Charlotte has always been bad, we are making great strides. This just added another layer of uncertainty,” Malcolm said.

As for Minor, she said any and all help is needed.

“It is most definitely is hard,” Minor said.

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