City of Charlotte to build low-income housing adjacent to light rail

But their definition of "'low-income" seems to be evolving:

Charlotte plans to use the 2.31 acres to build the low-income apartments on its own, or with a nonprofit company. But the new plan calls for all of the 80 apartments to be for people earning 80 percent of the area median income. That's about $43,000 for a family of four.

But the switch from very low-income housing to so-called workforce housing raises questions about whether the apartments are needed. Two consultants have told the city that Charlotte has a surplus of housing for people earning about 80 percent of area median income, and the city's biggest need is for apartments serving the city's poorest residents, who earn minimum wage or less.

Don't know all the ins and outs of this deal, but in the initial purchase (by the City) and sale back to the private sector, $4 million in taxpayer dollars was lost. And considering the City Council just had dozens of genuinely poor citizens drum up the courage to walk into the chamber and ask (desperately) for help with affordable housing, this decision seems to be about as tone-deaf as you could get. About the only citizen who appears to be "winning" in this deal-making is the developer himself:

After 11 years of waiting, the Charlotte City Council ended a partnership Wednesday with developer Peter A. Pappas to build affordable housing near the Scaleybark light-rail station. Those apartments would have been reserved for a family of four making $16,000 a year. The project was supposed to be the city's signature affordable housing development on the light-rail line.

Pappas Properties made at least three attempts to win state tax credits critical for building low-income housing. But each attempt failed.

I'ma break in right here and say, "What the hell?" If the City of Charlotte engaged in this "partnership," which invested millions of taxpayer dollars to get a desired project completed, but that project was contingent upon acquiring state credits that might not be secured, several people dropped the damn ball. You connect these dots before you sign the bottom line, and if the word "hopefully" is in there anywhere, you just don't sign. Period.

Back to Pappas' Payday:

Twelve years ago, the city bought 16 acres adjacent to the station for $9.2 million. The city spent $2 million from its Housing Trust Fund to buy the land.

In 2007, it then sold the 16 acres to Pappas Properties at a discount, for $5.2 million. (The city reduced some of the price because of what it said were challenging soil conditions.)

Real estate records show Pappas’ development company recently sold about 4 acres of the site to Pulte Homes for $6.6 million. Pappas Properties will still own nearly 10 acres that he can develop or sell.

That actually reads more like an excerpt from a Federal indictment than it does an update on downtown revitalization. But I digress...



About that image...

That's one of the more recent (2014) artist's renderings of what the developer has promised (and failed) to produce at Scaleybark.