Greensboro City Council works to increase affordable housing

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GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — It’s a growing issue for a growing city. Greensboro city officials estimate 4,000 families are in need of affordable housing.

On Tuesday, Greensboro City Council members approved $3.5 million in financial loan commitments for three proposed affordable housing developments totaling 264 apartments.

The development plans are similar to Elmsley Trail Apartments on Kallamdale Road featuring one to three bedrooms and amenities like a playground or park.

“The need is great,” said Cynthia Blue, the housing services manager for the Greensboro Neighborhood Development Department. “We need obviously more projects like this.”

The proposed developments include Vandalia Acres, a 96 unit apartment complex on West Vandalia Road. It’s located on the old Sedgefield Showgrounds property. FGM Development, LLC based in Raleigh is developing the property with a $920,000 loan from the city.

The Lofts at Elmsley Crossing, an 84 unit apartment complex on Kallamdale Road behind the Walmart on Elmsley Drive. This development is planned next to Elmsley Trial Apartments. Trinity Housing Development, LLC based in Springfield, Missouri, is developing the property with a $1.1 million loan from the city.

Yanceyville Place, an 84 unit apartment complex on Mithcell Avenue in northeast Greensboro. Affordable Housing Management, Inc. based in Greensboro is developing the property with a $1.5 million loan from the city.

Developers are applying for competitive tax credits from the state which could pay for up to 75% of construction costs. “The low-income tax credit program is the largest source of funding available for affordable housing development and it’s intensely competitive in North Carolina,” Blue said.

If approved, the three developments chip away at the need for more than 4,000 affordable homes in Greensboro. The estimate doesn’t include people impacted by the pandemic.

“That gap is projected to grow over the next 10 years which is why this plan is so important in helping to slow that and hopefully reverse that growth,” she said.

Blue told FOX8 they estimate 11,000 families will need affordable housing by 2030.

“What the city’s funding does is helps to make the project more affordable by offsetting an amount of bank financing that reduces the cost to the developer for the project and that way we are able to lower the rent so we can achieve rent as low as the 300s for our lowest-income households,” Blue said.

Rent is staggered and based on income from $300 to more than $1,000 per month.

“Most of the households who will be in these units will earn less than $30,000 a year,” Blue said.

Executive Director of Affordable Housing Management Inc. David Levy is behind Vandalia Acres and several other communities in Greensboro.

“It just breaks my heart to see kids living in substandard living conditions when they could be living in new properties,” he said.

Levy joined in to help Greensboro reach 1,200 new units by 2023.

“These folks are hardworking people that are just not making enough money where they afford a decent marketplace rental,” Levy said.

Several factors are considered before allowing development. Blue told FOX8 it includes physical infrastructure like roads, sewer and electricity. Essential services like grocery stores and public transportation are considered too.

Each development will remain under affordability protection for 30 years. Construction is scheduled for early 2022.

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