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Charlotte’s Main Fund For Affordable Housing Could Be Running Out

Homebuilders, construction, construction industry construction workers

Charlotte's main fund for affordable housing could be tapped out following a recent city council committee vote to provide approximately $20.8M for 769 income-restricted apartments in five proposed developments, The Charlotte Observer reports.

It is the latest step in the city’s push to create or preserve 5,000 affordable housing units over three years. City staff has said the city is almost halfway to that goal. The aggressive approach to spending could build more apartments faster, but if the five proposed projects are approved, that would leave only $1.4M in Charlotte’s Housing Trust Fund for developers looking to win funding next year.

The fund, started in 2001, receives $15M of voter-approved bond money every two years. Local officials have said the city should consider raising that amount drastically, possibly to $50M, to fund more housing. The trust fund provides equity financing for housing developers, effectively subsidizing the cost to build new apartments that are restricted to people making a certain percentage of the area’s roughly $56K median income.

This comes at a time when both rent and house prices are surging faster than income in Charlotte, as thousands are moving to the area, pushing up demand and increasing construction and land costs. The full Charlotte City Council is scheduled to discuss the city’s affordable housing strategy and progress at a special meeting Monday afternoon. It will vote on the proposed Housing Trust Fund projects in September.