Local News Roundup: Charlotte weighs housing initiatives; COVID cases could rise again

A local expert says that cases of COVID-19 in North Carolina will increase in the next few weeks. We talk about the prediction and what doctors are saying.

The Charlotte City Council is working on plans to provide more affordable housing in the city. We take a look at several projects on the table, and what kind of dent they’d make in Charlotte’s affordable housing deficit.

The stalled construction of the Rock Hill, South Carolina, headquarters for the Carolina Panthers drew heated criticism from South Carolina state Sen. Wes Climer this week. We discuss what was said and have an update on the plans in Rock Hill.

And the Hornets’ positioning for the NBA playoffs has been on a rollercoaster the last couple of weeks. We look at how the next couple of games could define their season.

Mike Collins and our roundtable of reporters delve into those stories and all the week’s top local and regional news on the Charlotte Talks local news roundup.

GUESTS:

Erik Spanberg, managing editor for the Charlotte Business Journal

Mary C. Curtis, columnist for Rollcall.com, host of the Rollcall podcast “Equal Time”

Claire Donnelly, WFAE health reporter

Joe Bruno, WSOC-TV reporter

EQUALibrium: A public conversation on race and equity in Charlotte

Eight years ago in 2014, Charlotte ranked 50 out of 50 of the nation’s largest metro areas in an upward mobility study from Harvard and the University of California-Berkeley.
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The “Land of Opportunity” study painted a bleak outlook for Charlotte’s poorest residents, but served as a wake up call for city officials and community members.

Leaders took action to address and correct the trends in mobility. Money was raised, programs were launched and attention was paid to areas like pre-K education, affordable housing and transportation.

So, where is Charlotte now?

In this special conversation, host Mary C. Curtis is joined by local leaders and experts at Project 658 in Charlotte to look at how far the city has come, and what still needs to happen to improve upward mobility in Charlotte.

GUESTS

  • Ely Portillo, assistant director of outreach & strategic partnerships at UNC Charlotte’s Urban Institute
  • Sherri Chisholm, executive director of Leading on Opportunity
  • Vi Lyles, mayor of Charlotte
  • Charis Blackmon, executive director of West Side Community Land Trust
  • Daniel Valdez, senior director of external affairs at Welcoming America

Fudge on housing funds in reconciliation: ‘We can’t live in the past’

President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better package includes almost $150 billion devoted to remedying inequities left by the country’s history of discriminatory housing practices. If a bill passes the Senate includes that amount, it would be historic.

Marcia L. Fudge, the secretary of Housing and Urban Development, has been sharing the message about infrastructure investments that include public housing rehabilitation and rental vouchers, and what it would all mean for American families. Fudge joined a recent episode of CQ Roll Call’s podcast Equal Time to discuss the issue further.

A transcript, edited for clarity and brevity, appears below.

Mary C. Curtis: Charlotte City Council Approves $2.7 Billion Budget

At its Monday meeting, Charlotte leaders approved next year’s $2.7 billion budget. Included are efforts to cut down on crime and funding for the arts as the city tries to come back after a year of COVID lockdown. Also, pay raises bring up salaries that had ranked low among comparable cities in the country.

WCCB Political Contributor, Mary C. Curtis is breaking down the budget for 2022 fiscal year and why you should care.

Tackling Charlotte’s Affordable Housing Crisis

CHARLOTTE, NC — A new report is shedding light on Charlotte’s affordable housing crisis.

The report from the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute found that more than half of minority resident’s in Mecklenburg county can’t afford to buy groceries, gas and medicine because they’re spending one-third of their paycheck on housing.

Political contributor Mary C. Curtis weighs in.

Will Changing Charlotte Neighborhoods Change Charlotte?

CHARLOTTE, NC — This week it was iconic Pike’s Soda Shop closing in South End, a neighborhood that has already seen favorites such as Phat Burrito close or move to make way for high-end shops and new developments. It’s not a new phenomenon for a growing city like Charlotte. But with growth comes new challenges, for example, how to meet the need for affordable housing when prices and rents rise and residents are displaced.

The city searches for solutions to mesh the old and the new in Charlotte.