Jan. 19, 2017
Is it affordable or workforce housing? Most of us really don’t care about the name. Just make sure that safe, decent and sanitary housing does not cost me more than 30% of my income. Otherwise, I’m balancing the cost of necessities such as food, medicine, children clothes, educational items each month.
The Charlotte local media has been full of articles and stories with calls for more affordable housing after the September riot. Calls from every corner of the community, from neighborhood groups, city council, the mayor, you name it. All calling for more affordable housing and 5,000 units in 5 years appear to be the goal. Wow!
Few remember the big brouhaha in the mid-’80s about a large southern tract of land in Mecklenburg County to be called Ballantyne. The developers needed City and State zoning and road and infrastructure approvals and vowed to provide affordable housing to support the varied levels of jobs, from secretaries, waitresses, hospital workers, teachers, managers and CEOs.
In the 1990s, at a joint luncheon meeting of the City, County and School Board, there was approval to take another serious look at providing affordable housing. Again, in 2000 after the Federal Courts declared CMS unitary. Now in 2017, here we go again.
Sitting on the Front Porch, I’m reminded of how long it took my grandfather to go from being a slave to citizen under the Constitution. As the saying goes, “you may give out, but don’t give up.”
It’s the right thing do and our moral imperative to keep trying until we get it right.
– Arthur Griffin
Pages below are from a 1994 report by the author addressed to Charlotte City Council, Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners and the CMS Board of Education. The last pages are from a developers’ report to public bodies, and includes an undertaking that Ballantyne “will include a variety of housing types for rent or sale which are priced to accommodate various income levels represented by Ballantyne’s work force.”
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