‘Tremendous victory’: Charlotte voters support affordable housing, road improvements

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Charlotte city voters decided on three different bond issues that include a Charlotte housing bond, which would give $50 million to the Charlotte Housing Trust Fund to improve affordable housing.

Affordable housing is a big issue in the city of Charlotte. The housing bonds passed would also fund the city’s Housing Diversity Program.

Volunteer Ksenia Rios-Jarvis helps feed the homeless population in Charlotte.

“I’m glad that it passed because there are so many people that need assistance with housing,” she said.

Rios-Jarvis said she sees the need for affordable housing as tents have become homes for many recently.

“It hurts,” Rios-Jarvis said. “It hurts because you got children. You have people, and they’re still people. They’re still human. There’s gotta be something done better than what’s being done.”

The city said that would increase the supply of safe, quality and affordable housing for low-and moderate-income residents throughout Charlotte.

“Specifically, it’ll include everything from multi-family new construction as well as rehabilitation, targeted neighborhoods where we can provide homeownership opportunity,” said Kieth Cockrell, Global Technology & Operations chief operating officer of Bank of America, who co-chaired the 2020 Bonds campaign.

He also serves on the board of the Charlotte Regional Business Alliance.

“It will support housing options for some of those that more challenged in our community, such as seniors, the disabled community, as well as the homeless population,” Cockrell said. “So, this $50 million is really targeted directly at that.”

He said the bond will also help to acquire properties to develop mixed-income communities.

“Without question, the citizens of Charlotte will feel the impact of these bonds,” Cockrell said

Also on the ballot was a referendum that included a more than $102 million transportation bond aimed at improving roads.

The bond is supposed to provide sidewalk and bicycle improvements in areas like Independence Boulevard and across the city. The package would improve traffic flow, expand bike and pedestrian routes and build or repair bridges and sidewalks.

Voters also approved a neighborhood improvement bond worth $44 million.

The money will go to improving certain neighborhoods and focusing on certain corridors like Freedom Drive and Wilkinson as well as Sugar Creek and I-85.

Joe Bost, Charlotte Regional Business Alliance Senior Vice President of Government Affairs, said the passing of the bonds sends a clear message that the city needs to continue to make these “necessary investments.”

“This is a tremendous victory for our city and the greater region for sustaining Charlotte’s reputation as a great place to live, work and do business," Bost said.