Two Housing Trust Fund developments break ground this spring
Leslie Blaser
HTF groundbreakings

The City of Charlotte’s Housing Trust Fund (HTF) provides the community with a dedicated source of public "gap financing" that allows them to preserve and create new affordable housing so more families in our city can access safe, affordable places to live. Since its inception, voters have approved $210 million of HTF dollars.

This spring, two new HTF developments broke ground, kicking off construction on both multi-family and single-family endeavors.

Laurel Street and Little Rock Community Development Corporation: Varick on 7th Street

At the end of April, Laurel Street and the Little Rock Community Development Corporation (CDC) broke ground on Varick on 7th Street, a 105-unit mixed income development at the corner of 7th Street and N Alexander Street in Uptown. Fifty of the 105 units will be restricted for those making 30, 60 and 80 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI).

"People of all incomes desire to live near their work and other amenities that the city offers," said Housing & Neighborhood Services Director Pamela Wideman. "This location will provide a unique and necessary opportunity by connecting people to transportation, employment, and other retail."

The community will have a courtyard area with grills, a dining area, fire pit, water feature and game lawn. It will also include an indoor lounge, fitness center, café, and business center. The city donated vacant land on the property, and financing includes $1.5 million from the HTF and $3.2 million from the Local Initiatives Support Corporation through its administration of the Charlotte Housing Opportunity Investment Fund.

The newly-named development honors James Varick, the founder of the AME Zion Church and abolitionist who actively fought for equal rights of Black Americans.

Westside Community Land Trust: Gilbert Street single family homes

The West Side Community Land Trust (West Side CLT) recently broke ground on its latest acquisition project: single-family homes on Gilbert Street.

Rather than destroy their existing houses when they decided to rebuild, three Charlotte homeowners decided to donate them to West Side CLT. The homes will be relocated to three lots on Gilbert Street in the Lincoln Heights neighborhood, which is in the Beatties Ford Road Corridor of Opportunity. The homes will then be renovated and sold to families making 60-80 percent AMI within the community. The HTF provided $117,000 for site development work and storm water improvements.

Watch the groundbreaking event on Facebook Live.

How Community Land Trusts Work

West Side CLT is a nonprofit, 501(c)3 organization with a mission of creating permanently affordable housing with community-centered development in west Charlotte and beyond.

City Council established the HTF in 2001 to provide "gap financing" to developers for affordable housing through voter-approved housing bonds. Since that time, the HTF has created or preserved 8,952 affordable units with long-term deed restrictions and 888 shelter beds. More than 35 percent of those units were for households earning less than 30 percent of the Area Median Income, or under $25,050 per year for a family of four, making Charlotte more affordable for pre-school teachers, health care aides, and workers in hospitality, retail, and emergency services.