Note to City Council from Mike O’Sullivan
On June 8 City Council voted in support of the plan for 7th & Tryon redevelopment. As a part of this deal, the Board of County Commissioners previously voted to use $6MM in proceeds from the redevelopment to fund affordable housing for the related Inlivian proposal to redevelop 8th & Tryon. I am writing on behalf of the OneMECK Affordable Housing Committee to urge the City to support Inlivian’s proposal for 8th & Tryon.
To improve equity as a catalyst for broader upward mobility in our community, OneMECK believes that affordable housing should be available in all areas of Mecklenburg County. This must include expensive areas such as uptown, an area that has had significant disinvestment for individuals and families who historically lived and thrived in this region of our county.
That is why OneMECK supports Inlivian’s proposal for a mixed income development, which will leverage the value of land they already own to provide 110 affordable units in uptown. It provides a significant percentage of affordable units in the development, and these units will remain affordable for the foreseeable future. The 7th & Tryon proposal does not include affordable housing, so it is essential that the 8th & Tryon proposal delivers a level of affordable housing as a part of this large redevelopment effort. Indeed, we understand that the majority of the County Commissioners approved the 7th & Tryon proposal without 36 affordable units that would have remained affordable for only 20 years, because that allowed the County to allocate the necessary funding for the 8th & Tryon proposal, with its 110 units that are meant to be kept affordable for the life of the project.
To accomplish this project, the 1940’s Hall House must be demolished. It is not an architecturally or historically significant building, and has an antiquated structure, low ceilings and a dated layout. It would be prohibitively expensive to renovate – that is why the building has been left vacant since 2014. It is time to leverage this asset for the benefit of the community.
OneMECK urges City Council to work with Inlivian and the County Commission to expedite this project, with a goal to break ground in summer 2021. The City should provide money through the Housing Trust Fund to enhance the current proposal by adding additional affordable units, especially for those earning less than 50% AMI due to the gap in housing affordable at this level.
Thank you for your efforts to increase equity and access to affordable housing in all areas of our community. We stand ready to assist in any way possible.