Mecklenburg County funds mixed-income units southeast of uptown


A view of the proposed Billingsley housing development on Billingsley and Randolph roads.

Mecklenburg County Wednesday approved a deal with affordable housing developer DreamKey Partners to provide $4.8 million for a mixed-income development in Grier Heights.

The development plans show 289 units — 235 rentals and 54 homes for sale in the historically Black neighborhood southeast of uptown.

The rental units will be income-adjusted for households that make between 30% and 80% of Charlotte’s area median income— $25,000 to $67,000 annually for a family of four, according to DreamKey Partners income limits guide. This sets monthly rent at approximately $625 to $1,675.

The rentals must remain income-adjusted for 30 years, and 80 units will be reserved for seniors.

The estimated mortgages for the for sale units will be $168,000 with monthly payments of $1,132. Without any help from the county, the homes for sale would cost about $262,000, according to the county’s presentation.

Before voting for the deal, Commissioner Vilma Leake said she fears the for sale units still are not as affordable as they should be.

County documents show the 14-acre development off Wendover Road, near Randolph Road Park. It includes a shared green space for residents.

The county’s funding will only make up a fraction of the project’s cost, with the remaining $81.4 million coming from tax credits, the city housing trust fund, loans, a congressional allocation and a Community Development Block Grant, which is an annual government-funded grant to build housing for low- to moderate-income residents.

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A map shows the location of the proposed Billingsley housing development in Grier Heights. Mecklenburg County documents

Under the deal, the county will pay $3.1 million in fiscal year 2023, which starts next week, and $1.69 million in fiscal year 2024. The county dollars will fund:

  • $1.69 million to subsidize the for sale units
  • $1.4 million for public road infrastructure
  • $787,000 for wetlands and environmental mitigation
  • $906,000 for water and sewer fees

Charlotte has a significant shortage of affordable housing — of both rental units and for sale homes — and Commissioner Mark Jerrell said he hopes this development will work toward filling that need.

“I appreciate the focus on affordability,” Jerell said. “It is very important that home ownership opportunities will be provided for current residents.”

Next steps include closing on a lease and transferring the land before construction begins.

Genna Contino covers local government for the Observer, where she works to inform and serve people living in Charlotte and Mecklenburg County. She attended the University of South Carolina and grew up in Rock Hill.

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