City Council Approves Budget with $50M in Affordable Housing Bonds
The Charlotte City Council this week approved a budget for FY 2018/2019 that includes an historic investment in Affordable Housing bonds — assuming voters approve them in a November referendum.
The $50 million in Affordable Housing Bonds are part of a $223 million bond package that also includes $118 million for streets and sidewalks, and $55 million for neighborhood improvements. Voters will be asked to approve the bonds on November 6th, and REBIC will partner with the Charlotte Regional REALTOR® Association and the Charlotte Chamber to advocate for their passage through a wide-ranging community campaign.
The budget approved by Council also includes the following:
Provides $70.3 million for housing programs, including an increase in the Housing Trust Fund bonds to $50.0 million in FY 2019. Charlotte voters will have to approve this investment when they go the polls in November.Implements sweeping changes in the development plan review process, to address issues raised by REBIC and other industry groups over the past year.Creates a ‘One Stop Shop’ in the lobby of the Government Center, where developers can access and meet with all relevant staff in a single location.Transfers 22 staff positions from the Department of Engineering and Property Management to the Department of Planning, which will be re-branded the Department of Planning, Design, and Development.Creates a new Enhanced Review pilot program for nearly all development review types, with reviews ranging from $1,000 for plat revisions to $30,000 for expedited plan review on major development projects.Adds 12 new positions in Planning to support the enhancements in planning and land development permittingAside from a 5 – 15% increase in rezoning fees (due to a planned step-down in cost-allocation subsidy), no new user fees for planning or land development.Includes $500,000 for an Aging in Place pilot program. This program helps support low-income, senior homeowners who want to continue to live in their home and mitigate potential impacts of the new 2019 property valuation.An additional $2.7 million for the ‘A Way Home’ rental assistance program.Includes a significant increase in the starting pay for CMPD officers, raising the minimum salary for a recruit to $46,352.Additional funding of $22.5 million is proposed for five existing General CIP projects in FY 2019, including the North I-85 Bridge and McKee/Providence Road Intersection. In FY 2021, an additional $2.5 million is proposed for the Idlewild and Monroe Road Intersection project.Funding for the Sidewalk and Pedestrian Safety program is doubled from the originally planned $15.0 million in FY 2019 to $30.0 millionAccelerates funding of $46.1 million to complete all six planned police stations.
The budget also includes a one-cent tax increase, which will cost the owner of a $250,000 home roughly $25 more a year in property taxes. It also includes increased water and sewer fees averaging $1.89 per month for a typical residential customer. The property tax increase led both Republican council members, Ed Driggs and Tariq Bokhari, to register the only NO votes on the budget.
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