City Council receives community safety and housing updates related to the Community Letter initiative

kenneth Brown
kebrown@ci.charlotte.nc.us
4/3/2017

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (April 3, 2017) – Charlotte City Council received an update on several key initiatives supporting City Council's Letter to the Community, including information related to ongoing efforts to promote Safety, Trust and Accountability, Housing and work conducted by the Opportunity Task Force.


Safety, Trust & Accountability

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD) Chief Kerr Putney shared the latest data and trends related to the increase in violent crime in Charlotte. Chief Putney identified measures CMPD is taking to address violent crime, including initiatives such as Operation Avalanche which directs resources to high crime areas.


Operation Avalanche is intended to protect some of the most vulnerable members of the community who live in neighborhoods that experience violent crime. To date, CMPD has reported an 83 percent reduction in violent crime in areas where Avalanche has been deployed.


The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department continues to make crime fighting and crime prevention a priority in order to keep everyone in the Charlotte community safe.


Housing

City staff provided updates on the Terwilliger Center housing report which outlined recommendations to increase the city's workforce and affordable housing. The study identified the following recommendations:


  • Bring new public and private resources to bear on creating supply
  • Create new and consistent incentives for mixed-income development
  • Maximize mixed-income development through public real estate
  • Ensure preservation of existing workforce and affordable units
  • Use zoning and land use regulations to incentivize mixed-income housing development
  • Communicate the importance and benefits of workforce and affordable housing

Deployment of these strategies will support council's goal of creating 5,000 affordable and workforce housing units within a three-year period. Since Jan. 1, 2016, the city has constructed and committed to 1,725 units, 34 percent of the total goal.


Opportunity Task Force

City staff provided highlights from the Opportunity Task Force report presented to the community on March 27. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Opportunity Task Force's call-to-action followed results of a study that looked at upward mobility for children born into our lowest income quintile. The report revealed that Charlotte-Mecklenburg ranked 50th out of the 50 communities.

The report identified factors directly impacting economic mobility including segregation, income inequality, school quality, social capital and family structure, and provided recommendations for the city to address those underlying issues. Key recommended areas of focus include:


  • Housing
  • Jobs
  • Transit
  • Community youth Initiatives
  • City employee benefits and employment practices
  • Service delivery review

Staff will continue examination of the report to develop recommendations to provide to City Council. Many recommendations identified in the report align with the Community Letter initiative already underway.


China Visit

Mayor Roberts and Council Member Greg Phipps provided a brief recap of their recent visit to China. The trip afforded city leaders the opportunity to strengthen international relations, encourage potential partnerships and explore opportunities to bring investments to Charlotte.