The 2024 Local News Impact Summit on affordable housing

Held in May each year, the CJC Local News Impact Summit brings together housing advocates, nonprofit organizations, city and county leaders, neighborhood associations, churches, local residents and journalists for a day of collaboration.

recent article from the German Marshall Fund points out the important relationship between cities and local journalism. 

It highlights the civic benefits as well as the need for more support. 

“Finally, and perhaps most importantly, local journalism is more than a provider of news and information. It is also a mechanism for building a community and maintaining its cohesion. Local news sources can reflect a community’s distinctive values, an increasingly important factor as news consumers migrate toward national news sources, a process that contributes to increased political polarization. But if communities are to come together to confront their unique problems, they need the sense of shared history, values, and priorities that local journalism can provide.”

The 2024 Local News Impact Summit, held May 16 at WFAE’s Center for Civic & Community Engagement, did just that. Panelists addressed upward mobility, development opportunities, and the needs of area renters. We heard from Mary Ann Priester, the author of the county’s Housing Instability & Homelessness Report. A room full of residents, journalists and advocates came together to confront our need for more affordable housing. 

The Charlotte Journalism Collaborative intentionally creates opportunities for communities to engage and share information that helps residents navigate complex situations.

Held in May each year, the CJC Local News Impact Summit brings together housing advocates, nonprofit organizations, city and county leaders, neighborhood associations, churches, local residents and journalists for a day of collaboration. We’re focused on celebrating the champions and working together around our challenges, while connecting that work to the impact and importance of a strong local news community. 

Watch the livestream

Watch individual sessions below, or watch the entire event from WCNC Charlotte here.

Session 1: Tale of Two Cities

Panelists will discuss a holistic approach to what the City of Charlotte looks like for residents across zip codes exploring poverty, economic mobility and access to core services. How do these things fit into our approach to affordable housing solutions?

Moderated by Ely Portillo | Interim Executive Editor, WFAE 90.7 FM

Panelists include Salma Villarreal, Director of Leadership Development and Student Wellbeing at Our Bridge for KidsMelissa Gaston, Co-Founder and Executive Director of the North End Community Coalition, and Monica Holmes, Deputy Planning Director City of Charlotte.

Watch below.

Lunch Program: State of Housing Instability & Homelessness in Mecklenburg County

Mary Ann Priester, author of the 2023 State of Housing Instability & Homelessness Report, will give a debrief on the latest report from Mecklenburg County Community Support Services.

Mary Ann Priester is the Senior Management Analyst, Housing and Homelessness Research Coordinator at Mecklenburg County

Watch below.

Session 2: Renting in Charlotte

For the first time, North Carolina renters have a statewide organization specifically focused on lobbying for tenants’ rights. What does that mean for Charlotte as the newly formed North Carolina Tenants Union seeks to level the playing field in our tight housing market?

Moderated by Lisa Vernon-Sparks | Race, Culture and Community Engagement Editor, The Charlotte Observer

Panelists include a local renter in the Charlotte area, Nick MacLeod, Executive Director of North Carolina Tenants UnionJessica Moreno, Community Organizer with Action NC, Ismaail Qaiyim from Housing Justice Coalition CLT, and Meagan Mack, Evaluation and Assessment Coordinator, Youth Access to Psychiatry Program (YAP-P) and a Doctoral Student | UNC Charlotte, Community | Health Psychology Program.

Watch below.

Session 3: What does it cost and how do we evolve our strategy?

Bringing together a panel of experts and advocates to discuss the challenges and opportunities for affordable housing in Charlotte.

Moderated by Chris Rudisill, Director, CJC

Panelists include Tonya Jameson, Director of Civic Engagement at Leading on OpportunityFred Dodson, COO & EVP of Real Estate at DreamKey PartnersShannon Green, SVP Organizational Advancement & Development at Habitat for Humanity of the Charlotte Region, and Eliza Hammond, founder of EC Legacy Properties and Legacy Lake Senior Apartments.

Watch below.

Video provided by WCNC Charlotte. Watch the full event recording here.

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