Concord is building affordable houses out of city's own pocket

Concord increases efforts to provide residents with affordable housing

CONCORD, N.C. — The City of Concord is addressing the issue of affordable housing by using city money to construct new homes.

This fiscal year, members of the City Council made the decision to appropriate $350,000 of general funds toward building affordable houses, which is separate money from the Home Funds traditionally used to pay for affordable housing.

[ALSO READ: Some don't want affordable housing near them]

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"This goes to show, it's not just a topic," said Mary Powell-Carr, Community Development manager for Concord. "They're actually stepping up and saying, 'What do you need to provide affordable housing to our residents?'"

The money is going toward the construction of two affordable homes this year and should be enough to keep a couple of houses under construction at all times, officials said.

One is completed and for sale at 445 Cabarrus Ave. It's listed at $185,000 and features three bedrooms and two-and-a-half bathrooms.

The second is still being built on Allison Avenue.

Powell-Carr explained that the homes are built to be energy-efficient, complete with solar boards, which are additions that could cut residents' utility bills by one-third.

Cheryl Kingston moved into a home built by the city 19 years ago and still lives there. She told Channel 9's Susanna Black the house was life-changing for her.

"I was so afraid of being put out on the street. They literally saved my life," Kingston said.

"We make our houses, not just energy-efficient, not just look good, but make them functional for families," Powell-Carr said. "Just because it's an affordable house, doesn't mean it has to be cheap -- doesn't mean it has to be poor quality and doesn't mean it has to be put up fast."

Powell-Carr said the homes are for anyone, not just for those who are at 80% or less than the median income. Down payment assistance is available for both constructions.

If you are interested in a home or want more information on affordable housing in Concord, you can find the WSOC-TV county-by-county resource guide.