The Charlotte City Council last week voted to approve a package of proposed changes to its policy guiding City participation in Assisted Multifamily Housing in Transit Station Areas.
The approval comes nearly 2 years after staff first convened apartment developers and community representatives to discuss loosening the policy’s requirement that all projects supported with City funding fully integrate market-rate and assisted (subsidized) units throughout the development. As defined in the policy, “assisted units” must serve households earning less than 60% of area median income.
Based on input it received from REBIC and others in the development industry, city staff proposed amending the policy to allow developers to concentrate subsidized units in a single building that is part of a master-planned multifamily community. But Councilman Michael Barnes opposed city support for the construction of any new buildings that were 100% assisted along the approved Blue Line Extension (BLE) of the Lynx light rail.
So the policy that was finally adopted by Council last week exempts the Northeast Transit Corridor “due to the uncertainty of market conditions along the BLE.” It does, however, allow for greater development flexibility along the South End corridor, which we applaud.
The original Assisted Multifamily Housing at Transit policy, adopted in late 2001, has resulted in the construction of just 180 below-market, subsidized housing units along the Blue Line’s South transit corridor — a small fraction of the more than 2,100 total multifamily units added to the corridor in the last decade. We hope these new amendments will help spur increased development of assisted housing in transit corridors, where it is often most needed.
For more on the amendments adopted by Council, CLICK HERE.