A major hub of the New South, Charlotte is one of America’s fastest-growing cities. But economic growth by itself has done little to disrupt the entrenched segregation that limits the prospects of people living in some of the city’s under-resourced zip codes. And rising rents have made it a struggle for ordinary residents—teachers and hairdressers, young families and retirees—to keep a roof over their heads.

Three years ago, affordable housing advocates in Charlotte, including the newly-opened LISC office there, launched a trailblazing initiative to tackle this seemingly intractable problem. It brings private dollars to augment public investments, and directs this capital to establish durably affordable housing in neighborhoods of opportunity.

Now that initiative, the Charlotte Housing Opportunity Investment Fund (CHOIF), is reporting results that make it a promising model for the country: 1,047 units of new or preserved mixed-income affordable housing, with hundreds more in the offing. The vast majority of these homes are affordable to households earning no more than 80 percent of area median income (AMI). A quarter are affordable for people at 30 percent of AMI. And 72 units serve people earning up to 120 percent of AMI.

What’s more, the CHOIF’s investments have helped build affordable homes, or refurbish and secure them with long-term deed restrictions, in parts of town with higher-than-average access to public transit, grocery stores, low-cost health care, and child care.

All these things nurture livability, racial and economic integration—shared opportunity.

“We are already getting calls from other cities interested in replicating the CHOIF model,” says LISC Charlotte executive director Ralphine Caldwell. “Affordable housing is not just a Charlotte issue, it’s an issue across the country. And our model really allows the public and private sectors to come together in a big way to increase affordability.”

Read about the Charlotte Housing Opportunity Investment Fund at LISC.