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Mooresville approves two affordable-housing communities

To help address a long-standing need for more affordable housing in town, Mooresville approved plans this week for two projects aimed at seniors and lower-income working families.

The biggest development approved unanimously by the Mooresville Board of Commissioners on Monday night is a 66-home community in the town’s predominantly African-American Cascade area. The development would be for lower-income residents age 55 and older.

Commissioners also unanimously approved a plan by Cornelius-based Our Towns Habitat for Humanity to build 21 homes in the town-owned Burke Dale subdivision, also in the Cascade community.

Commissioner Mac Herring said the projects “provide housing stock that takes care of folks who need a safe and affordable place to live.”

Commissioner Thurman Houston said the town intends to develop healthy-eating and gardening programs for residents of the new developments and all of Cascade. A community garden started by the Top of the Lake Rotary Club and the town at Cascade and Williams streets will be an integral part of those programs, he said.

Cascade is a historic part of Mooresville where the late African-American sculptor Selma Burke grew up. Burke sculpted the image of President Franklin D. Roosevelt that’s on the U.S. dime. A town community center off N.C. 150 East is named for Burke.

Wesley Community Development Corp., which is a United Methodist Church organization, and Prosperity Unlimited Inc. plan to build the 66 homes at the southeast corner of Cascade and Williams streets.

A 2012 market study for an unrelated senior housing community, which failed to obtain financing and was never built, showed Mooresville needs 715 affordable homes for seniors.

The 40-unit Curlin Commons, for instance, has a waiting list of 40 seniors who qualify for affordable housing, town officials said. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Charlotte opened the complex in 2010 on Overhead Bridge Road, 1.5 miles from Cascade.

Commissioners on Monday unanimously agreed to donate two acres of town-owned land for the 66-home development. They agreed to sell 4.6 acres to the nonprofit developers at the total appraised value of $135,000, Deputy Town Manager Ryan Rase said.

The developers still need approval from the N.C. Housing Finance Agency for low-income housing tax credits for the project and must apply by Jan. 24.

Kannapolis-based Prosperity has partnered on previous projects that received low-income housing tax credits, including the 64-home Villas of Forest Park and 56-home Forest Park Crossing, both in Kannapolis, and the 55-home Hope Crest that’s under construction in Salisbury.

Wesley has partnered on numerous projects, including two senior housing developments that received low-income housing tax credits and are now under construction: the 50-unit Willow Pond Apartments in Mocksville and 50-unit Timber Ridge Apartments in Spindale.

Commissioners on Monday also approved a permit for a six-person group home on nearby Franklin Drive for seniors with mental and physical disabilities.

Marusak: 704-358-5067; Twitter: @jmarusak
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