Luxury town homes to replace affordable housing in Elizabeth

- Charlotte has been fighting for more affordable housing, but there will soon be one less option for those who need an affordable home.

City leaders say there is nothing they can do to prevent the affordable housing option off Kenmore Ave. in Elizabeth from disappearing.

Martha Washington apartment homes are a staple in the Elizabeth Neighborhood and have been for decades. Soon, they will be torn down.

“It truly is detrimental,” said the last remaining resident, Nick Bloomberg.

Bloomberg has called Martha Washington Apartments his home for 11 years. For him, it’s one of the few affordable options he could find at $620 a month.

He now has until the end of this month to get out and has yet to pay his final rent.

“In order for me to get on my feet and go somewhere else I needed to be able to retain that and move on,” said Bloomberg.

Instead of an eviction notice he received papers asking him to appear in court. They were dropped off at his front door Thursday afternoon.

“I don’t understand why a company that is about to sell a multimillion dollar property is worried about a few hundred dollars and me going to court,” said Bloomberg.

Renderings show that new luxury town homes will be built on the property.

Although City of Charlotte leaders have been pushing for more affordable housing, council members say their hands are tied.

The property was sold to a developer and doesn’t need to be rezoned, because the plans stay within residential housing rules.

“When we have a rezoning it gives us a lot of opportunities for negotiation and try to modify a plan to better suite the neighbors and in this case we don’t have that option,” said council member, Larken Egleston. 

At a neighborhood meeting Thursday, those who live nearby questioned not only what will happen to former residents of the apartments, but how townhomes could impact traffic and the look of the neighborhood.
“It really upsets me I know the trees are old, and some of them probably need to come down I am more worried about the amount of runoff that is going to be taken up by the housing,” said Sophie Benton.

The developer of the luxury townhomes told neighbors at a meeting Thursday night that they have no plans to build more affordable housing options to replace the ones being torn down.

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