‘Air rights’ for Greensboro affordable housing

According to Rhino Times editor John Hammer, the Greensboro City Council’s at-large member Michelle Kennedy threw the work session agenda “out the window” to address the issue of affordable housing:

Kennedy paid no attention to the agenda but presented two ideas for new affordable housing after the lone agenda item, a report from Greensboro’s lobbyist, was finished.

First, Kennedy suggested that the city take the city-owned building on Maple Street, which is currently being used as the headquarters for the Parks and Recreation Department, and convert the building to permanent supportive housing.

Permanent supportive housing combines affordable housing assistance with voluntary support services to address the needs of chronically homeless people.

Kennedy said that the location on Maple Street, the old Cone Mills Corporate offices, is close to the Department of Social Services, on a bus line, near a lot of employment opportunities and right across the street from a police substation, making it an ideal location.

Remember that was just one idea. The other idea:

…Kennedy wasn’t through. She also suggested that the city consider selling the air rights to future city buildings to affordable housing providers that would allow them to build affordable housing units on top of the city facility.

Kennedy said that the plans for the new Vance-Chavis Library and Windsor Recreation Center would be an ideal location for such an effort. Kennedy said it would take the land cost out of building affordable housing.

Mayor Nancy Vaughan said, “I think the library idea is kind of cool.”

Estimates of cost for both of Kennedy’s ideas were not discussed.

Sam Hieb / Contributing Editor

Sam Hieb is freelance journalist from Greensboro, North Carolina. He is a contributing editor for Carolina Journal and for Piedmont Publius, a blog that focuses on political a...

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