A recently completed house is up for sale along Cabarrus Avenue in Concord.
It’s a two-story home with three bedrooms and 2½ bathrooms.
At a glance, it’s an attractive structure.
The going price for the newly constructed house is $185,000, and there are many around the neighborhood, along Hawthorne Street, just like it.
The city of Concord purchases land and constructs new homes in an attempt to add more affordable-housing units within the city.
“The city had seen the situation on Hawthorne and, this is many years before I came here, they started purchasing property here because they really saw the potential in the area,” said Mary Powell-Carr, community development manager for the city. “It really has the potential to be a thriving, affordable-housing neighborhood, but it also shows folks driving up and down the street that we can have something really nice like this in Concord.”
Members of the Concord City Council decided to appropriate about $350,000 of its own general funds for constructing two houses deemed to be “affordable.”
The house at 445 Cabarrus Ave. and one on Allison Avenue are projects in the works that were purchased by the city.
City officials say that down- payment assistance is available for both houses.
City Manager Lloyd Payne said Concord began purchasing land and building houses in the 1990s.
“The city of Concord desires a diverse population as well as diverse housing options,” Payne said. “It is our desire for all of our citizens to prosper and enjoy the highest quality of life possible. Stable, affordable housing is a vital piece in ensuring all of our citizens have an opportunity to thrive in Concord.”
The newly constructed homes are being built to be energy-efficient, with solar boards and conditioned crawl spaces that could help reduce utility bills for residents.
“The conditioned crawl space basically conditions the underneath of the house so that you don’t have air loss underneath,” Powell-Carr said. “The solar boards add an extra layer of insulation so that your attic is so much cooler, which cuts down your cooling bill.”
The city purchased some of the land through a Community Development Block Grant, a federal grant that provides communities with resources addressing community needs, particularly with low-to-moderate-income families.
The city also can use some of those CDBG funds toward an “emergency rehab” for those in need.
“We will go into houses for folks that are low-to-moderate income, and we will address an emergency need for them, and that would be something that would kill them (financially), make them move, something that would be a detriment to them in that home,” Powell-Carr said. “It can be a roof. It can be heating and air.”
The city of Concord also will dip into its HOME funds, which are often used to buy new, affordable houses.
However, the funds for the houses on Cabarrus Avenue and Allison Avenue are being taken from the general funds from this year’s city budget.
“When houses are sold, those funds came back into our HOME program as program income, and we are able to take those funds and build another home,” Powell-Carr said. “It does allow for a rotation of those funds.”
The plan is for the city to continue purchasing land for more affordable houses throughout the years.