Community Development Block Grant
Success Stories

Charlotte, NC - Mayor Patrick McCrory

First Ward Development

As one of Charlotte's first public housing projects, Earle Village was built just outside the central business district in one of the City's original four political wards. Over time, as occurred in many such projects, Earle Village fell prey to crime, drugs and poverty. In 1995, however, all of that began to change. Through a $41.6 million HOPE VI grant and a partnership with the Charlotte Housing Authority, the NationsBank Community Development Corporation and Charlotte Center City Partners, the City is successfully developing the area into a mixed-income neighborhood.

The four partners pooled their resources to hire UDA Architects, an urban design and planning firm, to develop a plan for the area. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Planning Commission used the UDA report to develop a master plan for the area that featured residential, office, retail and open space. At the end of 1998, just 18 months after the Charlotte City Council approved the First Ward Master Plan, few remnants of the old Earle Village remained and residents had begun moving into the new housing units.

The project was not an attempt to displace residents of public housing. In fact, measures were taken to ensure that a portion of the housing remain affordable to these residents and to other low-income individuals. Former Earle Village residents participating in the Family Self-Sufficiency Program live side by side with middle- and high-income residents. The new apartments currently being completed will maintain a 60-40 ratio of below-market-rate and market-rate tenants.

The City used $1.4 million in CDBG funds in the First Ward Development. Of those funds, $900,000 were passed through the Housing Partnership to NationsBank CDC to help in the development of affordable housing. Of the 174 units in the first phase of development, 114 were affordable. The City used the other $1.5 million in CDBG funds to improve the infrastructure along the First Ward's major thoroughfare. These improvements included widening of Seventh Street where it borders the First Ward Development, new curbs and gutters, stormwater repairs, sidewalks, medians, lighting and landscaping.

Contact: Jeannine Clark, Corporate Communications, (704) 336-2395

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The United States Conference of Mayors

J. Thomas Cochran, Executive Director
1620 Eye Street, NW, Washington, DC 20006
Telephone (202) 293-7330, FAX (202) 293-2352

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