fbpx

Advancing

Affordable Housing

in

Grier Heights

Together with community partners, Myers Park Presbyterian Church has made a zero-interest loan of $950,000 to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Housing Partnership. 

The city of Charlotte

has enjoyed years of economic growth, but progress has not been shared equally across our city.

Since 2013, the average rent in Mecklenburg County has risen by 35%, displacing many long-time residents. This is particularly true within the ‘white wedge’ of south Charlotte. Together with community partners, Myers Park Presbyterian Church has another opportunity to center our long-standing relationships in Grier Heights in the radical love of Jesus Christ by facilitating the development of truly affordable housing for those households making 30% of the area median income (AMI).

What’s breaking God’s heart in our community?

Over 100 leaders of the church grappled with this question last January at “Dream Day.” It was posed by Rev. Dr. Jan Edmiston, who, at the time, was Co-Moderator of the General Assembly the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and a respected thought leader in our denomination. Little did we know, she would accept the call to become our General Presbyter here in Charlotte a short time later. Jan offered us great wisdom, not only about where the church universal currently stands but also about where she sees it going.

So, what’s breaking God’s heart in our community?

That question hit home with us. One of the answers was that we believe it breaks God’s heart that a child born in poverty in our community has less of a chance of

escaping that poverty than in any other city in our nation. Having identified that reality, we then asked, “What does God want us to do about that?” Blessed by the wisdom of the Economic Opportunity Task Force report which had been released months earlier, we knew what needed to be done.

We knew we needed to figure out ways to leverage our social capital, to improve our education systems, and to enhance family stability.

At the heart of the stability issue for families living in poverty is housing. Like every major metropolitan area in the country, Charlotte faces a desperate shortage of affordable housing for people living in poverty. At least 25,000 units are needed, which means at least 25,000 families in our community are living on the edge, either way underwater in their housing costs or homeless. Surely that breaks God’s heart.

In October of 2018, our Session voted unanimously to join CrossRoads, Antioch Baptist Church, and Grier Heights Presbyterian Church in making a zero-interest loan of just under $1 million to the Charlotte Mecklenburg Housing Partnership to acquire a parcel of land in Grier Heights to develop truly affordable multi-family housing.

We pray this action will be like a mustard seed of faith that will spread and become a great tree in our community, providing homes for all God’s children. Please keep this endeavor in your prayers. May God bless us and continue to inspire us to respond to heartbreak in our community.

Grace and peace,

Joe Clifford
Pastor, Myers Park Presbyterian Church

Let’s talk about AMI

Area median income is the salary figure used to define income levels and
assess housing needs. All figures are based on a family of four before tax.

Area Median Income for Mecklenburg County

When we talk about the affordable housing crisis, we’re referring to what is affordable
to a family of four with a household income of 30%-60% of the area median income.

%

A family of four living at 30% AMI
will have a gross income of:

$22,320

They can afford monthly
living expenses of:

$555.75

The area median income for Grier Heights is $17,264.

It’s estimated that 25,000 units of 30% AMI housing are needed to meet current demand in Mecklenburg County.

The Housing Partnership

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Housing Partnership is a nonprofit organized to expand affordable and well-maintained housing within stable neighborhoods for low and moderate-income families. CMHP is a respected developer within our community and recently worked with Covenant Presbyterian Church to invest in a mixed-income development on Freedom Drive. A sample rendering of a CMHP property is pictured at right.

Next Steps

Since the initial purchase of the property on Billingsley Road, CMHP and CrossRoads Corporation have worked to acquire adjacent lots creating a land assemblage capable of providing five times the housing originally considered. In addition, CMHP is moving to secure ownership of naturally occurring affordable housing in the area, creating the substantial potential for investment in Grier Heights.

Community Voices

Myers Park Presbyterian Church has been in community and partnership with residents and organizations in Grier Heights for decades. The relationships built over that time have enabled this rich partnership addressing affordable housing.

|

Antioch has been a part of the Grier Heights community for 132 years. For us, it’s about how we would want the history of the Grier Heights community to speak of Antioch’s ministry and mission involvement. It’s about our fulfilling the Matthew 25:31-44 mandate and giving tangible expression to the very issues that Jesus lifted up, summarily to help the least of these who are our brothers and sisters. It’s about showing that we are on the side of improving the quality of life of the residents and helping to keep this community inclusive with homes that are affordable and available. We are fulfilling a calling to change people’s lives and to make our community a better place for all.

– Donnie Garris, Pastor, Antioch Baptist Church

|

Eliminating substandard, blighted properties and developing quality, affordable housing units for residents of Grier Heights is vital to promoting social and economic mobility in this community. CrossRoads is pleased to partner with CMHP, a proven and successful affordable housing leader in Charlotte, as well as with MPPC, Grier Heights Presbyterian Church, and Antioch Baptist Church to make this a reality.

– Don Gately, Former Executive Director for CrossRoads Corporation

|

It’s truly a blessing to partner with Charlotte Mecklenburg Housing Partnership to continue the empowerment of residents through affordable housing and building relationships for a higher quality of life.

– Cindy Gill, Resident of Grier Heights and Member of Grier Heights Presbyterian Church

|

It is a true gift and blessing to be in a position to partner with CMHP, CrossRoads, and the Grier Heights community on this project. As we are acutely aware, the lack of affordable housing options in Charlotte has reached crisis level. We are grateful to have the opportunity to deepen our 10-plus year partnership with Grier Heights, while at the same time participating in the improvement and addition of truly affordable housing options in that community. Hopefully, this will be a stepping stone to similar endeavors and lead to further investment in the affordable housing space in our community.

– Bryan Brooks, Outreach Funding Team Chair

Subscribe to updates

* indicates required
Outreach Ministry

For questions or additional information, please contact the Outreach Office at outreach@myersparkpres.org.