Charlotte City Council approves funding for two affordable-housing communities

By: Payton Guion, staff writer//November 27, 2013//

Charlotte City Council approves funding for two affordable-housing communities

By: Payton Guion, staff writer//November 27, 2013//

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CHARLOTTE – The Charlotte City Council meeting on Monday night began with the pomp and circumstance of Mayor Patsy Kinsey’s State of the City address, her last meeting as the head of city government.

Mayor-elect Patrick Cannon and the new Council will be sworn in Dec. 2, but the current Council was far from absent in its last meeting together.

They voted to spend $1.7 million to fund improvements and expansion at two affordable-housing communities in Charlotte, $700,000 for infrastructure improvements in Brightwalk, on Statesville Avenue, and $1 million for the expansion of Moore Place, on Lucena Street, both just north of Uptown.

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Housing Partnership requested the $700,000 for Brightwalk from unallocated Community Development Block Grant funds to assist with infrastructure. According to city documents and council members, market momentum is exceeding the infrastructure construction schedule in the community, and that infrastructure is necessary to keep up with the rapid residential sales in Brightwalk.

The total need for Brightwalk infrastructure is $899,136: $352,550 for curbs, entrances and sidewalks; $154,330 for sewer collection and water distribution; $144,070 for demolition and grading; $60,000 for traffic signals and stripping; $59,080 for asphalt paving; $39,321 for storm drainage; $26,640 for handrails and guardrails; $26,525 for erosion control; $20,000 for contractor bonding; and $16,620 for staking.

City Council will contribute $700,000 toward that goal, with the Housing Partnership paying for the remainder, according to city documents.

Warren Cooksey, an outgoing Republican from District 7, was the only council member to reject this proposal, saying that the project was already receiving city assistance through tax increment financing.

The Urban Ministry Center asked for $1 million from Council to add 35 efficiency apartment units to the 85 units already at Moore Place, which serves chronically-homeless Charlotteans. The Urban Ministry Center is partnered with the city of Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, the Charlotte Housing Authority and the N.C. Housing Finance Agency.

The 35 additional units will be guaranteed affordable for 50 years and 10 of the units will be set aside for homeless veterans.

The expansion budget, including the $1 million put up by the city, is $4 million. The Urban Ministry Center would pay $1.9 million, the N.C. Housing Finance Agency would pay $600,000 and Federal Home Loan Bank would pay $500,000, according to city documents. The Council unanimously approved the funding for Moore Place.

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