New income-restricted housing moving ahead in Cherry

Construction of new homes on Main street in the Cherry community.
Construction of new homes on Main street in the Cherry community.

The Charlotte Housing Authority is moving forward with its plans to redevelop the Tall Oaks public housing development in the Cherry neighborhood, now that it has secured tax credits for the deal.

The CHA first announced its plans in February. The agency will replace the low-slung, 50-unit Tall Oaks, at 401 Baldwin Ave., with 81 units of income-restricted housing.

The new units will be restricted to those making $38,000 or less a year, and will be a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments. Construction is expected to start in spring 2016 and take about a year.

“The unit designs will complement the existing Cherry neighborhood architecture, and will include spacious living and storage areas, kitchens equipped with energy star appliances, and in-unit washer and dryers,” CHA wrote in a news release. “Additional amenities planned for the redevelopment will include an exercise room, multi-purpose room, computer lab, indoor/outdoor seating areas, a playground, picnic area, and sunroom.”

Horizon Development Partners, a subsidiary of CHA, will be responsible for the development. The company has been awarded $1.2 million from Charlotte’s Housing Trust Fund, as well as more than $823,000 worth of low-income housing tax credits from the N.C. Housing Finance Agency.

Here’s how the tax credits work: They’re apportioned to each state by population, and distributed by a state agency to developers building low-income housing. The developer generally sells the tax credits to a corporation or investors, and uses the equity to help lower the costs of building. In return, they restrict the units to low-income residents and offer lower rents (You can read a more detailed explanation here).

Cherry has been rapidly gentrifying, which has spurred tensions between some long-time residents and newer homeowners.

Ely Portillo: 704-358-5041, @ESPortillo