Charlotte churches donate land, buildings for affordable housing | WFAE 90.7


The town of Charlotte is making an attempt to establish much more inexpensive homes and residences for inhabitants, but a single of its key issues has been discovering land on which to establish.

In response, church buildings all-around the town have been stepping forward with land, dollars and often total structures that can be refashioned into inexpensive homes.

Among the newest is Caldwell Presbyterian Church in Charlotte’s Elizabeth community, which is creating options to transform an unused church building into 21 studio apartments about the upcoming two a long time for persons who have seasoned homelessness and are quite low-money.

The church’s pastor, Rev. Dr. John Cleghorn, stated the building at 1615 East 5th St. has formerly been utilised as a prayer area, a area for Sunday university, a homeless shelter for gals, and as a house for the Charlotte Bilingual Preschool and the Charlotte Islamic Faculty.

When the women’s homeless shelter moved to a far more long-lasting place, Cleghorn reported it “left a hole in the heart of this congregation,” and the church began discovering other selections for the area.

Associate minister Rev. Gail Henderson-Belsito said it created perception to transform the constructing into very affordable apartments to assist shelter those people in need to have.

“Our scripture, the term of God, tells us about and above once more that we are responsible to care for these who are needy, to feed the hungry, to dress the bare, to pay a visit to the unwell and imprisoned, and also to offer shelter for people today who have to have shelter,” Henderson-Belsito said.

At the time finish, each and every condominium will have a kitchen, a rest room, a dwelling area and a bed room. Residences will be out there to people who have skilled homelessness and are earning involving 30-50% of the area’s median cash flow — or about $17,000 to $35,000 a yr, Cleghorn explained. Inhabitants will spend a 3rd of their monthly income in rent.

The new residences will be named Easter’s Dwelling in honor of a woman named Easter who was enslaved by the Caldwell spouse and children, for whom the church is named, Cleghorn mentioned.

Cleghorn stated the congregation was continue to reckoning with its heritage, and that the building’s new title was just one move in the church acknowledging that history and generating amends. The church also liked the identify for its non secular connotations with resurrection and new daily life.

Churches throughout the city helping

Caldwell Presbyterian is one particular of at minimum 10 neighborhood parishes, in addition to the Catholic Diocese of Charlotte, that have donated land, properties or money to produce very affordable housing in partnership with the metropolis of Charlotte.

Other parishes involve St. Paul Baptist Church, which donated land for the Centra Sq. flats in the Belmont community The Park Church, which donated land for the Gilfield Park senior apartments on Beatties Ford Highway and Covenant Presbyterian Church, which donated $2 million toward design of The Mezzanine at Independence residences on Liberty Push.

In addition, Mayfield Memorial Missionary Baptist Church donated land for the Mayfield at Sugaree apartments Tiny Rock A.M.E. Zion Church donated land for a soon-to-be-developed apartment sophisticated around uptown Charlotte, and a trio of churches — Myers Park Presbyterian Church, Antioch Missionary Baptist Church and Grier Heights Presbyterian Church — alongside one another loaned virtually $1 million to the Charlotte Mecklenburg Housing Coalition to order land in the Grier Heights community for very affordable housing developments.

The Catholic Diocese of Charlotte has also contributed by overseeing the design of the Mom Teresa Villa residences for individuals with mental or developmental disabilities and the Guardian Angel Villa apartments for reduced-earnings seniors.

Caldwell Presbyterian also gained a $1 million donation from its sister church, Myers Park United Methodist Church, for the project, in addition to grants from the metropolis of Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, and the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency.

A ‘life changing’ church job

The metropolis of Charlotte estimates nearly 35,000 models of affordable housing are necessary, and Caldwell Presbyterian’s ministers acknowledged that 21 studio apartments could possibly appear to be like a drop in the bucket.

Having said that, Henderson-Belsito reported every condominium would have an outsized impression on the life of its long term people.

“For 21 men and women, it truly is likely to certainly transform their life. It truly is not 35,000, but for each individual 1 who arrives in off the road, which is daily life transforming for them,” she claimed.

The church still wants to increase about $1 million to access its $6 million target, the ministers said. Then, the church hopes to commence construction in late 2022 or early 2023 and open up the flats in 2024.

Cleghorn stated he hoped the challenge would encourage much more properties of worship to get associated in the exertion to build a lot more inexpensive housing in Charlotte.

“Churches have hundreds of acres and dozens of buildings that are underutilized,” Cleghorn stated. “We hope that this is a pilot challenge that will inspire properties of religion to seem at what property they have and to place them to function immediately towards this crisis that’s changing our town.”


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