How Affordable Housing Is Allowing Seniors to Continue Calling Their Neighborhood Home

Nov 07, 2011

Cherry Gardens

Affordable, Green Housing for Seniors

Video Transcript

Paul Woollard, Executive Director, Affordable Housing Group of N.C.: Cherry Gardens has opened some eyes, statewide and in Charlotte, of what affordable housing looks like, what it can be, and what it can do. It’s special because of the people that are here, many of whom have lived in this neighborhood their entire lives. But as their property values rise, people who own [have], especially if they are on a fixed income, like seniors usually are, will get priced out of their neighborhood, so its a challenge many times to go find a place they can afford.

Beatrice W. McMurray, Resident, Cherry Gardens: For three years everything has gone up, and for three years my social security has stayed flat, so I made the choice to move here.

Jimmy Royster, Development Associate, Affordable Housing Group of N.C.: What we are trying to do is not only build homes that are safe and affordable, but doing them as green as possible. We are cutting down power needs, cutting down our carbon footprint. For our residents, they are seeing a savings in their power bill between 40 and 50 dollars. So that’s 40 or 50 dollars, each month, that they can apply to going on a trip, helping their grandkids go to college. That’s a great benefit to our residents.

Paul Woollard, Executive Director, Affordable Housing Group of N.C.: Using safer products, from tile to carpet to paint—and also the insulation and the ventilation in the units—was all to the health of the residents themselves. Cherry Gardens is a home run. There is more than just the housing; its shelter and it’s a community.

Beatrice W. McMurray, Resident, Cherry Gardens: The best part of living here at Cherry Gardens—it’s like a family, we look out for one another. You know we share. It’s a pleasure.

Jimmy Royster, Development Associate, Affordable Housing Group of N.C.: Cherry Gardens was built with a lot of love and care, and making it green, making it affordable is just adding to that wonderful fabric that is Charlotte.

Paul Woollard, Executive Director, Affordable Housing Group of N.C.: Cherry Gardens specifically wouldn’t be here without Bank of America. The construction loan was through them. They worked with us early and creatively to make this happen. They are excited about what we are trying to do and oftentimes can bring different perspectives that we haven’t thought of before, because of the wide range of knowledge that they have in the affordable housing industry.

Jimmy Royster, Development Associate, Affordable Housing Group of N.C.: A lot of folks said we couldn’t make it green, but Bank of America are all for it, um, very supportive of it.

Paul Woollard, Executive Director, Affordable Housing Group of N.C.: We said we wanted a new paradigm that no one had ever done before, and they looked at us and said, “Tell me about it." I would hope that Cherry [Gardens] would be seen as an example, that affordable housing can be green. There are so many ways that we are better off because of this type of a development, and it’s just wonderful to see.


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A lot of folks said we couldn’t make it green, but Bank of America are all for it, very supportive of it.

Jimmy Royster
Development Associate, Affordable Housing Group