New report sheds light on the issue of local evictions

New report sheds light on the issue of local evictions

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Families struggling to make ends meet are being forced out of their homes because they can't afford to pay rent, according to a new report released this week.

Researchers at UNC Charlotte found that in one month, more than 1,900 families were hit with eviction notices. In a city that's becoming a major renter's market, that study found several problems that put people's homes in jeopardy.

"As a child, I remember getting evicted, and this has happened in my adult life a couple of times too," said Sara Jane Covington, one the faces behind the numbers.

Rentals are driving much of the housing market.

Courtney Morton is with Mecklenburg County Community Support Services. Her office provided the resources UNC Charlotte Urban Institute used to take a deep dive into the local housing market.

One of the conclusions, according to Morton: "There's not enough affordable housing in the community. Rent is far too high and wages are not keeping pace."

That report examined court records from July 2016 and found just under 2,000 evictions filed for that month, and nearly 1,200 local residents lost roofs over their heads.

According to the study, more than 80 percent failed to come to court. City Councilman Phipps supports a proposed program that lends a hand to those being forced out.

"It's not going to be like a giveaway program. I mean, every case is gonna have to stand on its own," Phipps told WBTV.

County commissioners are considering a similar initiative.

"The report we have doesn't count all of the informal evictions that occur," Morton said.

The study also suggests tenants should be made more aware of their legal rights and responsibilities during the formal and informal eviction process.

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