Council allots $8M in federal money to preserve east Charlotte apartment complex

CHARLOTTE — Some families scored a major win Monday night in the fight for more affordable housing in Charlotte.

$8 million in federal money will go toward preserving a local neighborhood instead of tearing it down.

On Monday, the newest edition of the Charlotte City Council held its first business meeting after being sworn in last week. One of the big items on the agenda: Spending millions in COVID-19 stimulus dollars to preserve an apartment complex in east Charlotte, turning it into what’s called “naturally occurring affordable housing.”

City council unanimously approved providing the money for an owner to acquire and rehabilitate the Peppertree Apartments on Central Avenue at Kilborne Drive. It will be turned into 292 one-, two- and three-bedroom units.

88 of the units will be for people making 30% of the area’s median income. Proposed rents would be between $390 and $465 per month. Additionally, 44 of the units will offer rental subsidies funded by the city.

The Peppertree Apartments were built in 1985. They’ll get new roofing, HVAC and appliance replacements, siding repair and water, sewer, and sidewalk improvements.

All the councilmembers Monday were on board with the project. However, some -- like Councilman Tariq Bokhari -- think the city needs to codify what are called “wraparound services” into any future deals for families receiving those subsidies at naturally occurring affordable housing developments.

“Unless you go and get the workforce provider for training, get the job that that person is going to go to, get the transportation, the food, the clothing, all the wraparound services where these units become a place where folks go, are up skilled, and then they move on and they open up for someone else,” Bokhari said.

The Peppertree property owner is also asking Mecklenburg County commissioners for $4 million toward the acquisition and rehab project. That board will vote on that on Sept. 20.

The total project has a price tag of more than $55 million.

If you or someone you know is struggling to find a safe, affordable place to live, there is help available. Click here for a county-by county list of resources.

(WATCH BELOW: Charlotte FC steps up to help Roof Above’s mission to end homelessness)

Jonathan Lowe

Jonathan Lowe, wsoctv.com

Jonathan is a reporter for WSOC-TV.

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