Roof Above buys an old hotel to convert into permanent housing

Roof Above buys an old hotel to convert into permanent housing
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In another deal aimed at alleviating Charlotte’s housing crisis, Roof Above has bought an old hotel on Clanton Road. This winter, it’ll be used to shelter women and children. After that, Roof Above will renovate the property and turn it into permanent housing.

Because of the pandemic, Roof Above shut down its annual Room in the Inn program, which partners with local churches to keep people sheltered over the winter. Charlotte has “a significant need for (housing) options” as the temperatures drop, Roof Above CEO Liz Clasen-Kelly said in a statement Tuesday.

Here are a few details about the 88-room Quality Inn property:

  • This winter, it will serve as an emergency shelter for women and children.
  • Over the summer, Roof Above will renovate the building. Each room will get its own kitchen.
  • Roof Above will eventually add support services to the property.

Ultimately, the project will look like Moore Place, according to Roof Above, the merger of Urban Ministry and Men’s Shelter. Opened in 2012, Moore Place provides affordable housing and on-site case management and medical care for Charlotteans who have experienced chronic homelessness.

According to the nonprofit, converting existing hotel space avoids the time delays and financial constraints of constructing new affordable housing. All told, the project will cost about $12 million.

“The hotel is already equipped to serve as safe shelter to help the community through this winter, and by the end of 2021, we aim to bring these units online as permanent housing for 88 of our most vulnerable neighbors,” Clasen-Kelly said.

Roof Above

Roof Above will convert each of the 88 hotel rooms at an old Quality Inn on Clanton Road into housing units, each with its own kitchen. Courtesy of Roof Above.

Zoom out: Charlotte has a shortage of about 34,000 affordable housing units, given the city’s current population growth.

The need is most urgent for households who make 30 percent or less of the area’s median income, or $25,050 for a family of four.

A number of organizations have taken steps recently to help chip away at the problem:

  • In September, Roof Above purchased an apartment complex in east Charlotte. The organization plans to set aside 75 apartments for those who are experiencing long-term homelessness.
  • Heal Charlotte launched a fundraising campaign in August to purchase a hotel to turn into transitional housing.
  • Local real estate developer Laurel Street is partnering with Little Rock AME Zion Church to plan a 105-unit apartment complex in First Ward. The aim is to add affordable housing in Uptown.

So far, Roof Above has secured $5.45 million to purchase the property and pay for renovations from the following sources:

  • $2 million in CARES Act funding from the City of Charlotte
  • $1 million from the Springsteen Foundation
  • $500,000 from the Duke Energy Foundation
  • A “significant financial contribution” from John McKibbon and the McKibbon Family Foundation

(Note: Derick Springsteen Close, one of the initial investors of the Panthers, started the Springsteen Foundation at the Foundation For The Carolinas a few years ago.) Roof Above still seeks to raise $4 million for construction and operating costs for the hotel project.

“As the pandemic has created financial challenges for hotels and motels nationally, nonprofits like Roof Above are stepping in to buy facilities we can use for important public purposes – creating a win-win for everybody,” Clasen-Kelly said.

Quality Inn on Clanton Road

Quality Inn on Clanton Road (courtesy of Roof Above)

Quality Inn Clanton Road

Quality Inn at 575 Clanton Road (courtesy of Roof Above)

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