Charlotte leaders allocate $1M to go toward proposed CMS teacher housing

Charlotte leaders allocate $1M to go toward proposed CMS teacher housing

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — Charlotte leaders are pushing forward in an effort to offer teacher-specific affordable housing.

During Monday night’s Housing, Safety and Community Committee meeting, members unanimously approved to earmark $1 million in the next Charlotte budget for a teacher village. The money would come from the city City’s America Rescue Plan Act funds, so it wouldn’t involve tax dollars.

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The committee members said the $1 million investment would create 100 units for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools employees. The developer is currently slated to be affordable housing company Laurel Street Residential, but members are seeking more information on the project.

“I firmly believe that CMS, a strong public school system, is vital to the overall ecosystem to Charlotte’s growing economy,” said Councilwoman Dante Anderson, not a voting member of the committee. “One creative way we can invest in a model, provide $1 million of ARPA dollars and potentially ARPA interest dollars to help create an innovative model that we can create to scale for city workers as well.”

Committee Chair Victoria Watlington – who was attending remotely due to illness – would like to see what the city’s return on investment would be.

“We want to get behind this,” she said. “I would like us to be mindful if and how we choose these dollars.”

The city received $141.6 million in the COVID-related ARPA funds in 2021, with 33 percent slated for housing.

Councilmember Dimple Ajmera made the motion Monday night for the allotment. The committee decided to set aside the funds since their next meeting isn’t scheduled until September, and the proposed budget will be voted on next week.

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