The effort to provide more affordable housing is an ongoing discussion in Charlotte with no easy solution in sight. There’s the issue of NIMBY (Not In My Backyard), but the bigger issue is the lack of public owned land to build affordable housing. City officials can’t mandate that private developers provide units for affordable housing, and it seems that private developers own all of the available land.
On Monday, the affordable housing conundrum resurfaced again when the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Task Force released its finding after a 18-month study. The Task Force stated the obvious, there’s a need for more affordable housing.
The Charlotte Observer asked local experts to offer tips on how to address the affordable housing shortage. Here’s what they found.
- Explore and advocate for so-called “mandatory inclusionary zoning,” a policy that would require a certain percentage of new units in every development be set aside as affordable. That’s not allowed under North Carolina law, and would face fierce opposition from the real estate and development industries.
- Use excess publicly owned land for new affordable housing.
- Create a new investment fund with private partners to develop more affordable housing, and explore more tax incentives and other strategies to encourage it.
- Increase the amount of money spent on rental subsidy vouchers.
- Create a community land trust to help low-income families buy homes and build wealth.