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New affordable housing initiative connects landlords with qualified tenants

Updated: May 31, 2023

May 19, 2023 by Dave Vieser, Cornelius News


While Cornelius is known for its affluence, there are many who struggle to find affordable housing in the town where they work.

Economic growth has driven up housing prices and rents making it more difficult for low- and moderate-income families to pay for housing where they serve others.

To help address this issue the Lake Norman Community Development Corp. (CDC) is launching a new initiative called the Rental Bridge Program.

“The goal of the program will be to connect property owners of homes or apartments with approved program tenants,” said CDC Executive Director Michelle Hoverson. The CDC will partner with property owners through a master lease with a two-year fixed fair-market price agreement, she explained.


How it works

Specifically, the CDC will sublease a home or apartment at a reduced rate to qualified program participants and provide coaching services to the participating family to help move them forward towards home ownership at the end of their time in the program.

Details

The CDC has $15,000 in general funds to launch the program. “We have a grant applications into the Town, the County and a foundation right now and are awaiting news of all of these in June,” Hoverson said. CDC officials hope to mobilize corporate sponsors as well—it’s their employees they will be assisting.

Who will benefit

Both the property owner and program participant realize significant benefits. The master lease arrangement protects the owner against vacancy risks and turnover costs while participating in an affordable housing solution with no reduction in rent revenue.

The rental participant is able to live in the community where they work, allowing them to financially stabilize for two years while receiving financial coaching to move forward towards homeownership.

Who will qualify

Each program participant will need to meet eligibility qualifications and be earning between 60% and 100 percent AMI (Annual Medium Income), which is $39,600 to $66,000 for a single person.

When to apply

The Lake Norman CDC’s goal is to begin receiving renter applications June 1. Currently they are seeking property owners who want to place several apartments within a complex in the program, or those who have just one property. For more information contact Michelle Hoverson, Executive Director, Lake Norman CDC at 704-897-7340 or email at michelle@corneliuscdc.com


Cornelius Mayor, Woody Washam added, "The establishment of the Cornelius CDC is so critical for our workforce to be able to live in our town. That would include our police, Firemen, teachers and retail workers to be able to live in the town that they serve. Thanks to the Mayor’s Task force on Affordable Housing and the leadership on the CDC Board for helping move this needle! Mayor Washam


May is affordable housing awareness month.


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