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The Voice of the Black Community

Local & State

Study: Local housing costs and eviction rates rise together
Shelter insecurity tied to Mecklenburg expenses
 
Published Wednesday, September 26, 2018 10:48 pm
by Herbert L. White | The Charlotte Post

Affordable housing is getting harder to afford in Mecklenburg County.


A report prepared by the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute connects rising economic burdens to housing to shelter instability and homelessness. The study, published last month, found the solutions to alleviating homelessness are tied to making housing more affordable.

“Connecting housing instability, homelessness and pathways to stable housing as a housing continuum allows for a more holistic picture of the housing challenges facing Charlotte-Mecklenburg and can help to inform integrated solutions,” the authors, Ashley Williams Clark and Bridget Hochwalt wrote. “Each of the pieces of the continuum operates as a system and solutions to homelessness and housing instability can look across these systems, not just in isolation.”

Rents have increased 16 percent since 2005 when adjusted for inflation, compared to 2 percent for income. At minimum wage, an individual must work 103 hours to afford a two-bedroom apartment at market rate.

Evictions are more prevalent, too. In fiscal year 2018, 29,140 ejection cases were filed in Mecklenburg County, 492 more than the previous year. Of those cases, 16,944 evictions, or 58 percent of complaints, were granted. Evictions are an indication that housing instability is growing, which results in homelessness and future housing problems.

“Evictions are both a cause and consequence of housing instability,” the authors wrote. “Inability to pay rent is the number one reason that landlords attempt to evict a tenant in Mecklenburg County. Once a landlord attempts to evict a tenant, it will show on the tenant’s rental history and can have a lasting impact on a tenant’s ability to find future housing.”

The burden of renting is hitting for households, with 43 percent reporting difficulty balancing the financial requirements of housing as of 2016 against other living expenses. In that year, 75,930 households reported they were cost-burdened compared to 66,790 in 2010.

“The largest barriers to housing were related to economic opportunity, especially lack of housing affordability and employment,” Clark and Hochwalt wrote. “Investments in increasing and maintaining permanent housing options are important, but the larger number of people experiencing homelessness and who are housing cost-burdened, suggests a need for additional solutions and investments in pathways to stable housing.”

Comments

Working "103 Hours" to afford an apartment. That's "1 Person" @ those hours. Why don't we discuss the breakdown of the family unit as one of the reasons why families can't afford rent? Or the father not accepting his responsibility in support? I would say that's a LARGE BARRIER!! What % of those evictions are from single mothers raising the children?
Posted on September 27, 2018
 

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