News & OpinionNooze HoundsPodcast

Nooze Hounds: Affordable Housing and Homelessness in Charlotte

Episode 79

Julie Porter, president of DreamKey Partners (left) and Liz Clasen-Kelly, CEO of Roof Above stand inf front of a plant
Julie Porter, president of DreamKey Partners (left) and Liz Clasen-Kelly, CEO of Roof Above, discussed affordable housing and homelessness in Charlotte on the latest ‘Nooze Hounds.’ (Photo by Ryan Pitkin)

On episode 79 of the Nooze Hounds podcast, I spoke with DreamKey Partners President Julie Porter and Roof Above CEO Liz Clasen-Kelly about their work around homelessness and the affordable housing crisis, including how it all relates to gentrification, displacement, adaptive reuse, Housing First and other local topics.

According to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Housing and Homelessness Dashboard, as of May 31, there were 3,162 people experiencing homelessness in Mecklenburg County, including 588 people experiencing chronic homelessness.

DreamKey Partners is a full-service real estate development organization that seeks public and private financing for land development, acquisition, design, entitlement, and construction. DreamKey has completed $392 million in real estate investments and provided financial education and counseling to more than 40,000 people while also providing more than $40 million in down payment assistance.

Learn more: City Launches Homeownership Assistance Pilot on Corridors of Opportunity

In late July, the organization broke ground on Aveline at Orange Street, a new affordable for-sale townhome development in Grier Heights.

With expected completion in summer 2024, Aveline at Orange Street will be 1,550 square feet with three bedrooms, two and a half bathrooms and a two-car garage, starting at $284,000. Target homebuyers have a household income of up to 80% of the area’s median income. Additionally, qualified homebuyers can get up to $80,000 in down payment assistance toward the purchase price.

The result of a merger between Urban Ministry and the Men’s Shelter of Charlotte, Roof Above is an interfaith nonprofit that provides services to our unhoused neighbors with the goal of ending homelessness in Charlotte. The organization operates a day services center, three year-round shelters, nearly 700 units of supportive housing, and a treatment program for substance use disorders.

In July 2022, Roof Above started moving people into SECU The Rise on Clanton, an apartment complex that provides permanent supportive housing for up to 88 individuals experiencing chronic homelessness. Ten of the first tenants were individuals who were displaced from the North End Encampment when it was cleared and were moved to a county-funded motel shelter.

Learn more: Opinion: Tent City Isn’t New, It’s Newly Visible

Remember you can catch Nooze Hounds on Spotify and other places where you find podcasts and be sure to check out Queen City Podcast Network for a slew of other great Charlotte podcasts that aren’t quite as good as ours but pretty damn close. Find past Nooze Hounds episodes here.

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