$2 Million Gift from SECU for Hotel Conversion Project

October 15, 2021

State Employees’ Credit Union Foundation has demonstrated its support of our mission to #endhomelessness by offering us the generous gift of $2 million! Since the beginning of our journey to convert a hotel into 88 studio apartment-style supportive housing units, we’ve remained steadfast in partnering with organizations that are just as excited about the work as we are.

Our CEO Liz Clasen-Kelly shared in response to the tremendous gift from SECU, “We look forward to a long-term partnership with SECU teammates and members as we work together to provide critical resources to help people improve their lives and transform our community.” 

The previously announced plan will convert a hotel to 88 studio apartments as an affordable, supportive housing option for those experiencing chronic homelessness – individuals with a disabling condition who have experienced homelessness for at least a year, or repeatedly.

Construction is underway and the project is anticipated to be complete by early 2022. There is a 23,022 unit shortage in units affordable and available to households below 30% of AMI in Mecklenburg County. This permanent supportive housing option is meeting a critical need for some of our community’s most vulnerable neighbors. Total project cost is estimated to be $12 million, inclusive of 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 with a kitchen.

We plan for some of the first tenants to be individuals who were in the North End Encampment and had been sheltered through the County motel project that began when the encampment was cleared through a public health order in February. Those individuals are currently in a motel-based shelter, with services provided by a case manager who will then transition to the new permanent supportive housing project.

We will honor the significance of the gift by naming the new building: “SECU The Rise on Clanton, Apartments by Roof Above.” According to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Housing and Homelessness Dashboard as of August 30, 2021, there are more than 3,149 individuals experiencing homelessness in Charlotte-Mecklenburg; 525 of those are experiencing chronic homelessness. Community data shows homelessness decreased at the onset of the pandemic, but has been steadily rising for months, as eviction protections have fallen away. 

In the new project, tenants will pay a third of their income toward rent. The building will also have case management and health care support on-site. “Roof Above continues to build new and stronger alliances within local government and the community in their united efforts to address the issue of homelessness in the Charlotte area,” said Tyrone Tyler, SECU Regional Senior Vice President. “The non-profit has shown how creativity and innovation can be used to establish a model of shelter and housing solutions for the underserved across North Carolina and beyond. This is an inspiring project that the Foundation is proud to support – its positive impact will no doubt be felt for many years to come.” The hotel conversion is being led by JE Dunn Construction with architecture by Axiom Architecture and interior design by ODA.

Our organization’s vision is that every person has the safety, stability, and dignity of a home.