Report quantifies eviction's role in Mecklenburg housing crisis

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A new report completed by UNC-Charlotte for The Housing Advisory Board of Charlotte-Mecklenburg shows that evictions play a significant role in Mecklenburg County's housing crisis.

The report was presented in a sold-out theater in Uptown Wednesday night, even broadcasting to an overflow location.

The new numbers reveal that 28,471 formal evictions were processed in the county in 2015 and 2016, not counting those that went under the legal radar.

"People are ashamed about talking about it," Elisa Pacheco of the Crisis Assistance Ministry says.

Pachecco says families are coming into the ministry looking for help after evictions every week.

"Even if you do know somebody that's gone through it, you probably don't know that's something they've gone through," she adds.

The report is the first ever to evaluate evictions in the county. It also reveals that low-income black women and families with children are the most likely to be evicted in the area.

There is also an apparent gap between those making lower wages and their ability to afford housing. In Mecklenburg County, a person making minimum wage would need to work 96 hours per week to afford a two-bedroom apartment at fair market rent.

"This is actually affecting people every day, this is the life people live in," Pacheco says.

This report is only part one of three. The next part will focus on where the majority of these evictions are taking place across the area.

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