page contents
USA Real Estate Blog

Fifth Third and Atrium to fund affordable housing effort

0 5


Charlotte spent millions on low-income housing, but poor people can’t afford it

Over the last 16 years, the city of Charlotte has spent or committed $124 million to affordable housing. Next month, city leaders will ask voters for $50 million more. But the money hasn’t helped people like Curtis Simpson.

Over the last 16 years, the city of Charlotte has spent or committed $124 million to affordable housing. Next month, city leaders will ask voters for $50 million more. But the money hasn’t helped people like Curtis Simpson.

Two multimillion dollar donations announced Tuesday brought a private sector fund for Charlotte’s affordable housing efforts within reach of its $50 million goal.

Fifth Third Bank and Atrium Health on Tuesday each pledged $10 million for affordable housing, including a combined $13 million directly to the Charlotte Housing Opportunity Investment Fund. The Foundation for the Carolinas launched the fund last year with an initial $5 million investment and a $50 million fundraising goal. The aim is to match the $50 million voters approved last fall for the city’s Housing Trust Fund.

Fifth Third’s commitment includes a $3 million direct donation to the fund, and $7 million in loans and other investments to increase accessibility to affordable housing. Atrium is giving $10 million directly to the fund.

The donations bring the private sector fund’s total to $44 million, or 88% of its goal. New York-based nonprofit Local Initiatives Support Corporation manages the fund, which includes low-interest loans, money and land donations.

“This is a tale of two cities,” Atrium CEO Gene Woods said at an event announcing the donation. “We are one of the most prosperous, fastest-growing cities in the country. And on the other side there’s just too many of our neighbors left behind.”

A city report published last year shows Charlotte needs 34,000 more affordable housing units to meet demand. At Tuesday’s event, Mayor Vi Lyles said 374 units of affordable housing are already under development using the $50 million from voters.

The owners of Brooks Sandwich House in NoDa also said Tuesday they would donate three acres in east Charlotte to Habitat for Humanity to build 18 to 24 affordable townhomes.

Since launching, the Foundation’s fund has received donations from major corporations in Charlotte. Wells Fargo donated $5 million directly to the fund as part of a $20 million effort to support affordable housing efforts in the city. Bank of America, Ally Financial and Barings pledged a combined $70 million for affordable housing, the bulk of which is in the form of low-interest loans for developers to build income-restricted housing. BB&T, SunTrust and the SunTrust Foundation agreed to give $10 million to the fund, and committed to around $20 million in below market-rate loans.

Charlotte-based developer Crescent Communities said it would donate $2 million worth of land to a subsidiary of the Foundation in the River District development it’s building west of Charlotte Douglas International Airport.

“Progress is important —small or large steps,” Lyles said. “But I feel like on affordable housing, we’ve made a leap forward.”

You might also like

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This

Share this post with your friends!