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Charlotte church bringing affordable housing to Uptown following land donation

The Charlotte Housing Opportunity Investment Fund and the Black Economic Development Fund invested $21 million into the project.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — As the population continues to grow in Mecklenburg County, so does the need for affordable housing. 

One Charlotte church’s donation is helping in the development of more homes for families in need.

"The city of Charlotte is a growing city, and it’s very exciting to live here," said Pastor Dr. Dwayne Walker of Little Rock A.M.E. Zion Church.

The church, a staple in the community, is bringing affordable housing to Uptown.

“I wanted to make sure to be part of that development and part of the renaissance that was happening in this community,” he explained.

This empty lot will be transformed into an apartment building with 105 units. 53 of them will be for affordable housing while 52 of them will be rented at market rate.

The church and the city donated land for the development, which will be located next to the Little Rock Cultural Center. The collaborative effort also includes Little Rock Community Development Corporation and Laurel Street, a development company.

The Charlotte Housing Opportunity Investment Fund and the Black Economic Development Fund invested $21 million into the project. Barings, an investment management company, financed $17.4 million of the mixed-income housing project.

Credit: Laurel Street
Varick on 7th, a sustainable and inclusive apartment community

“We try and use more and more resources. For the last 20 to 30 years, the traditional source to do affordable housing has been with the low-income tax credit. We are big users of that tax credit but we also build some housing without it.” Lee Cochran, senior vice president of development for Laurel Street, told WCNC Charlotte. “We try to use private social equity, local public sources, local land."

Walker said one of the many highlights is it's centrally located.

“We are in the hub of the city. People are within walking distance of anything they may need. There’s shopping, there’s downtown, the government centers are right here, and then we are next to the train line," he added. "So folks will be able to have access to just about every part of the city just from this location."

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With the growing need for affordable housing, Walker hopes to see more development companies partner with local churches.

“I hope this serves as a model for other churches. What happens when people put their hearts and souls and resources together ... great things can happen,” he said.

RELATED: 'It’s a feeling of security' | Charlotte organization helps prevent foreclosures and keep families in their homes

Despite some delays due to supply chain issues, Walker expects construction to begin within the next few weeks.

Varick on 7th is scheduled to be completed in 2023

Contact Jesse Pierre at jpierrepet@wcnc.com or follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

WCNC Charlotte is committed to reporting on the issues facing the communities we serve. We tell the stories of people working to solve persistent social problems. We examine how problems can be solved or addressed to improve the quality of life and make a positive difference. WCNC Charlotte is seeking solutions for you. Send your tips or questions to newstips@wcnc.com. 

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