Family struggles to make ends meet as rent, home costs rise in Charlotte

New report on affordable housing progress
Updated: Jun. 5, 2018 at 10:39 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Charlotte rent and home costs are rising fast, and income is trailing behind.

A new city report shows that Charlotte is $24,000 units short of what it needs for the many people in the city making half of what is considered an average income.

"These are people who are working," Cheron Porter with Charlotte Housing Authority says. "They need affordable housing."

Porter says right now, 18,000 people are on the CHA waiting list for a safe, and affordable, place to live.

"People who are trying, who are working, who can't make enough to live here in Charlotte," she says.

RELATED: This report shows why so many people struggle to afford housing in Charlotte

People like single dad Nathaniel Harris and his son, who don't have a permanent home.

"I'm just pretty much making it through the clouds and trying to maintain one day at a time," he said at a public meeting Monday.

Harris, who works two jobs, told Mecklenburg County commissioners his family was turned away from five local agencies he approached for help. Right now, he said, they are living off help from generous strangers, and "Crisis Assistance Ministry."

"When you got a man who's trying to do for his son and show him a better way, just, the funding needs to be there," he told commissioners.

This new city report breaks down pages of data as leaders try to sort through the problem.

"There are teachers, there are firefighters, there are policemen, there are people who work in our school administration, in our hospitals," Porter says.

The report shows that last year, the average Charlotte home cost $211,000, an amount someone would need about four minimum-wage jobs to pay for.

The report suggests some options to help the city out of this housing crisis, like creating a new fund to buy land for affordable housing.

Council wants to increase bond money for the housing trust fund from $15 million to $50 million dollars, something voters will decide on in November.

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