Housing & Neighborhood Service News! November 2020

Posted in: Madison Park


COVID-19 Emergency Housing Assistance: RAMP CLT Keeps Grandmother from Returning to Homelessness

Karen Davis knew she needed to find a permanent home when she would take her grandson out driving and he would say, “Oh, Memaw, you’re just going to park and go to sleep, aren’t you?”

Due to several health challenges, Ms. Davis lost her job, and with it, her home. From August to December 2018, she was in and out of women’s shelters, and she started living out of her car in January 2019. A company allowed her to park in their lot overnight for safety, and that owner connected her with a real estate agent who helped her find the townhome she moved into this summer.

Ms. Davis found new employment and had been working the entire time while trying to find permanent housing. When COVID-19 hit, however, her epilepsy flared up, and her doctor wrote her out of work in May.

“With this pandemic going on, of course they have to take care of those who are out of their homes, it’s understandable, a lot of people have lost their jobs…It’s just hard when you’re in need as well,” she said. “With me being homeless before, and me being late with my rent…it didn’t look good because I had just moved in… I was crying and scared, I can’t lose this place.”

She’s one of nearly 2,600 households who’ve received assistance through the Emergency Rental and Mortgage Assistance Program, or RAMP CLT, Charlotte’s COVID-19 emergency housing assistance program. To date, the City has provided over $6.8M in assistance as part of this program. Learn more at rampclt.com.

karen davis stands outside her home with her arms out open smiling

Lead Poisoning Prevention Week

Many homes built before 1978 contain lead paint on both interior and exterior walls. When lead paint gets old, it can start to peel or come off in pieces and become a hazard, which is why the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency declared Oct. 25-31 National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week.

HNS has partnered with NC Kids to promote leadfreenc.org, where North Carolina residents can identify lead risks in their homes and connect to certified professionals to help address potential lead hazards.

Lead is toxic, especially for pregnant women and young children under six. It can cause brain and nervous system damage, learning and behavior problems, slow growth and development, and hearing and speech issues. The most common source of lead exposure is from lead-based paint, which was used in many homes that were built before 1978. When old paint on walls or surfaces like window sills cracks and chips, children can chew, eat or even swallow lead dust.

Residents should get their homes tested if it was built before 1978, particularly if small children live there. A simple blood test can detect lead, and children should get tested early.

LeadSafe Charlotte is an ongoing effort at HNS to identify lead hazards and prevent lead poisoning in our community. The program provides grants to assist low-income homeowners with addressing unsafe lead paint conditions that pose a potential health hazard to young children, including free lead inspections at the home, free blood testing for children, and free remediation of lead hazards in the home or rental property. Since the program's inception in 1998, the City of Charlotte has received over $17 million to reduce lead hazards in more than 2,000 homes.

America Recycles Day

Did you know that, according to the EPA, every 10,000 tons of materials recycled supports nearly 16 jobs and $760,000 in wages? The recycling rate has increased from less than seven percent in 1960 to over 35 percent today, and America Recycles Day continues this annual tradition to educate and encourage residents to learn how to recycle right.

In honor of this year’s America Recycles Day, Keep Charlotte Beautiful is hosting a live webinar on November 16 with sustainability professionals from across the county to educate the community on the impact of wishful recycling. Wishful recycling is assuming that any seemingly-plastic material can be put into your curbside bin and recycled. More often than not, these materials are NOT meant to be collected or sent to our Material Recovery Facilities. Unfortunately, this wishful thinking creates contamination in the system and is counter-productive to the effectiveness of Mecklenburg County’s recycling program overall.

The presentations will be followed by a Q+A opportunity for viewers to ask our guest speakers any questions they may have. Click here to register. 

City of Charlotte Invests $3.25 Million to Close Digital Divide

The City of Charlotte is committed to improving the quality of life for its residents through the use of technology and has earmarked $3.25 million in funding from the CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Fund to support Access Charlotte.  Access Charlotte is a range of investments to promote digital inclusion and equity across the city, and includes public wi-fi on transit and in select public spaces and residential areas, hotspots for CMS to enable remote learning for students, “learning labs” that provide computers and other equipment to the community, and a “digital navigators” program that helps residents learn digital skills.

Learn more about this program here.

Councilmember Watlington Announces Grants in West Charlotte

This week, Councilmember Victoria Watlington announced several grants to increase economic opportunity in the West Boulevard community. These include establishing a multi-year, $80,000 per year commitment to the West Boulevard Neighborhood Coalition (WBNC) to develop an active West Boulevard Merchant’s Association and grow and cultivate youth programming at the Seeds for Change Farm, supporting the opening of the city’s first grocery co-op, the Three Sisters Market, committing $85,000 in grants to the City West Commons center for renovations and security improvements, and creating an Access-Charlotte Public Wi-Fi hub in the City West Commons center.

Learn more about these initiatives here.

Code Enforcement Tip of the Month

 Please be sure Mecklenburg County Real Estate Records reflect the most current mailing address for your property.  Failure to maintain this information could result in delay of notifications of violations on your property.  This includes owner occupied as well as rental property.

Holiday Trash Schedule 

Thanksgiving is just around the corner. The staff of Solid Waste Services wants you to know exactly when you should put your garbage, recycling, yard waste and scheduled bulky items at the curb. Collection services will be provided on a one-day delay beginning Friday, November 27 with Friday customers receiving service on Saturday. It is an orange recycling collection week. Want to get this information and other collection updates, delivered directly to you? Text your collection day to 732-24 and changes to your collection schedule will be sent directly to you.




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