Charlotte’s Oldest Black Neighborhood Grapples With Gentrification
Established in 1891, the Cherry neighborhood in Charlotte, North Carolina, is the city’s oldest, historically black, workforce housing community, but the population mix and housing prices are changing. The neighborhood’s proximity to the city's job center and public transportation, combined with the availability of vacant lots and low-cost homes during the recession, has made the community ripe for redevelopment. Residents have voiced concerns at city council meetings, but the community changes have not required zoning approvals. As Cherry and other neighborhoods change from their affordable roots, the city's resources for creating new affordable units are not keeping pace with rising costs. Voluntary inclusionary zoning is on the books but unused. A bond-funded city housing fund is expected to add more than 300 units of affordable housing in the next two years, but the city has an estimated 34,000 fewer affordable units than needed for its population.
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