CHARLOTTE, N.C. –Roof Above announced on Thursday that they are receiving a $1 million grant from the Lowe’s Foundation to support their work to end homelessness in Charlotte.
Officials with the nonprofit say they will use the money to convert a hotel into 88 studio units, in order to create an affordable housing option for those experiencing chronic homelessness in the community.
Officials say construction is already underway and the project is expected to be complete by early 2022.
The timing of the project is critical as the community deals with the eviction moratorium and lack of affordable housing.
In the report released on Thursday officials say “As of June 30, 2021, there are more than 3,135 individuals experiencing homelessness in Charlotte-Mecklenburg county; more than 515 of those are experiencing chronic homelessness.”
Roof Above first announced in December that they closed a deal to buy a hotel at the intersection of Canton Road and Interstate 77.
The 88-unit hotel originally served as an emergency shelter this past winter for women and families through a partnership with Salvation Army Center of Hope, but now renovations are now underway to transform the hotel into permanent supportive housing for individuals who find themselves chronically homeless, according to a news release.
Officials say the total project cost is estimated to be $12 million, including the purchase price, renovation of the existing building, and construction of a support service wing addition.
Each existing hotel room will be renovated into a studio apartment complete with a kitchen, according to a news release.
In addition to Lowe’s $1 million dollar contribution to the project, officials say the company will provide new appliances in each unit at a discounted rate.
Officials say tenants of the new building will be expected to pay a third of their income toward rent.
“We are committed to making a positive impact in our hometown of Charlotte through partnerships with organizations like Roof Above that are making a tremendous difference in improving safe and affordable housing in our area,” said Janice Dupré, Lowe’s executive vice president of human resources and Lowe’s Foundation chair. “With the grant, Roof Above will provide a safe, more permanent place to live and offer stability for some of the most vulnerable in our community.”
The new project is a replication of Roof Above’s success with Moore Place, which officials say is a 120-unit apartment community off Graham Street that follows the evidence-based practice called Housing First.
Officials say Housing First recognizes the need for housing for all people and believes that providing stability of housing first, and then surrounding tenants with appropriate support, is the best way to help people towards personal goals and improving their quality of life.
“At Roof Above we believe that by virtue of being human you deserve the dignity of housing,” said Roof Above CEO, Liz Clasen-Kelly. “We are grateful for Lowe’s investment in our mission which goes deeper than this generous gift. Lowe’s has been a committed partner throughout the pandemic, supplying critical COVID PPE and donating appliances to Roof Above to outfit unused college dorms that were used for temporary shelter.”
For more information on Roof Above click here.