McBroom and Pate, longtime NoDa* landlords and former owners of the Neighborhood Theatre, [are now building] small homes after years of renovating more traditional single-family homes, including many former mill houses.
They built the smaller, all-plywood houses on the same lot with existing rental homes during the past three years as a way to add more affordable housing in NoDa while also boosting their property values.
The city of Charlotte calls this couple’s smaller homes “accessory dwellings,” permissible under a zoning amendment adopted by City Council in 2012 to help build the inventory of affordable housing…
Charlotte limits the maximum size of accessory dwellings such as McBroom’s to half the size of the main house. That means accessory homes may not work well in neighborhoods with smaller homes, although those neighborhoods are often more affordable.
These accessory dwellings probably won’t help address the city’s most urgent need for affordable housing, either. The greatest need is among families, and one-bedroom units most often would not be adequate, said Floyd Davis, president and CEO of Community Link, which helps individuals and families find affordable housing. The price for the NoDa rentals also would make them out of reach for many people, Davis said.
“When you look at $800 a month, that is not very affordable for a person working at a job that pays less than $14 an hour,” Davis said. “That represents around 40 percent of our workforce.”
*NoDa is a popular arts district located in the North Charlotte (North Carolina) neighborhood on and around North Davidson Street and 36th Street.