An affordable housing apartment complex recently opened in northwest Charlotte.
Sugaree Place Apartments, located in the historic Hidden Valley neighborhood, was designed to alleviate the rising rent prices in Charlotte for low-income residents.
Construction began in early 2022 and was completed this year. Move-ins began in late September.
The $15 million project was funded by DreamKey Partners, a nonprofit focused on affordable housing, as well as the city of Charlotte and other local organizations, such as Covenant Presbyterian Church.
Land for the project was leased from Mayfield Memorial Missionary Baptist at a low cost for at least 66 years, Porter said, to help ensure rental affordability.
Julie Porter, president of DreamKey Partners, told QCity Metro the affordable community is just part of tackling the overall affordable housing crisis.
“We all know that affordable housing is in very short supply in Charlotte,” Porter said. “Especially [in] our traditionally African-American neighborhoods in Charlotte.”
The residential development offers 51 apartment units for tenants earning between 30% and 80% of the area median income level– between $19,800 and $52,000 for a family of one.
Porter said rent is based on the tenant’s income and household size and ranges from around $400 to $1,100.
The complex features a playground, picnic shelter, fitness center, computer room and multipurpose community room for resident use.
Of the 51 units, 31 are already occupied.
One resident, Wanda Massey, 53, said she has been enjoying the privacy of her new apartment.
In 2012, Massey was evicted from her home. She said she had to rely on her friends and family as well as area shelters for a place to stay until she began living in a hotel in 2020.
“I was [going] from different places, from the homeless shelter to different people’s apartments, floors, couches,” Massey told QCity Metro.
Massey, who is partially retired and works part-time at a fast-food restaurant, said she lives on less than $25,000 a year. The eviction on her record has made it even more difficult to find affordable housing in Charlotte, she said.
“With an eviction, they shun you,” Massey said. “It’s like, if you go to jail, you get a record, they shun you. I think that’s the main part of a lot of homelessness and people living in hotels, because of [evictions.]” Massey said.
Massey says since moving into the apartment complex in September, she’s paying $600 less on rent than what she was paying at the hotel.
Because of the affordability, Massey said she plans to renew her lease.
“I plan on staying here until I demise,” Massey said. “I’m not going nowhere.”
Those interested in being put on a waitlist for the complex can apply online at www.sugareeplaceapts.com.