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Mar 30, 2015

Prominent apartment developer calls for more affordable housing

One of the nation’s most prominent apartment developers is calling on politicians to do more to make housing affordable, including doubling the federal subsidies developers can get for building affordable housing units. J. Ron Terwilliger, who is in Charlotte to speak to the Urban Land Institute and Charlotte City Council, told the Observer Monday that the U.S. is in a “silent housing crisis,” with more than 20 million families paying over half of their income for housing.

“We’re short on affordable rental housing now, woefully short, and we’re getting shorter,” said Terwilliger. He said three-quarters of the approximately $200 billion spent annually on housing subsidies in the U.S. goes to homeowners, much of it in the form of tax deductions for mortgage interest, and said more should go to renters.

“I think we’re in a crisis that very few people realize we’re in,” he said.

Terwilliger is chairman of Charlotte-based Terwilliger Pappas, an apartment company that’s building or plans to build high-end Solis complexes in Dilworth, SouthPark, southeast Charlotte’s Waverly development and South End, totaling more than 1,000 units. He’s also the former head of Trammell Crow Residential, one of the largest apartment developers in the nation, and a major philanthropist, whose gifts include a $100 million endowment to Habitat for Humanity.