North Carolina and the Charlotte region lacks thousands of affordable housing units
“Its gotten worst over the years, we can’t build our way out of this.”
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - The state of North Carolina lacks over 195 thousand affordable rental homes, and that issue trickles downs to the Charlotte region, according to the National Low Income Housing Coalition.
It’s a well-known thing that the Charlotte Metro area lacks tens of thousands of affordable rental homes for people of all incomes.
The lack of affordable housing has a trickle effect on people in our community.
The rule of thumb has always been – don’t spend more than 30% of your income on housing.
Some are spending more than half and it’s causing them to sacrifice things like healthy food and healthcare to pay for rent or be evicted.
Over 45,000 units, that’s how many affordable housing units Charlotte and the surrounding areas lack according to the National Low Income Housing Coalition.
“The situation is very grave, “and has been very grave for quite some time,” said Pedro Perez, Executive Director of Charlotte Family Housing.
The biggest need is within the city of Charlotte, which has a shortage of 38 thousand units.
That gap trickles down to low-income and medium-income households.
Perez said, “houses are affordable to someone, the question is can you afford it, and if you’re in working-class or poverty, it’s going to be very difficult for you to afford it.” Especially in Charlotte where rent continues to skyrocket.
“A similar unit to mine today that I rent for around $1,300 on my old lease, I think we looked it’s at least $500 more for a similar unit,” said Tyler Hunter, a renter in Charlotte.
“There are 55,000 people that cannot afford housing right now,” said Bethany McDonald, Executive Director of The Hearts Beat as One Foundation.
That’s people with full-time jobs. According to city data, dishwashers, retail workers, and even some first responders could need affordable housing, all jobs with salaries ranging between $21,000 to $56,000 annually.
Hunter said, “obviously the easy answer is to make more money but that’s hard to accomplish, that’s not something you can just kind of snap your fingers can start to make more money to accommodate.”
Data from Paycheck to Paycheck shows to rent in Charlotte, you need to make:
- $39,840 annually for a studio apartment.
- $40,560 annually for a 1-bedroom apartment.
- $46,200 annually for a 2-bedroom apartment.
- $59,880 annually for a 3-bedroom apartment.
- $77,680 annually for a 4-bedroom apartment.
Perez said, “It’s gotten worst over the years, we can’t build our way out of this.”
In response to our questions, the city says they’re working to not only expand the supply of affordable housing but also preserve existing affordable housing.
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