Articles about Housing and Homelessness

As Mecklenburg shelters in place, crowded housing conditions vary widely
   March 24, 2020
Ely Portillo, Katie Zager
Mecklenburg County residents are directed to stay at home through a new proclamation Tuesday, in order to limit their social contacts and slow the spread of coronavirus. But some residents could find that harder to do: The rate of crowded housing varies widely across the city of Charlotte and the rest of the county. Read more

Our homeless neighbors are especially vulnerable to the coronavirus
   March 23, 2020
Lori Thomas
If there has ever been an object lesson on why housing matters and why we must prioritize providing it for people who don’t have a place to live, this latest crisis should teach us. Charlotte’s homeless population is at particular risk as we collectively adjust to COVID-19.  Work to end homelessness takes on new urgency in a pandemic, for reasons of both personal and community safety. The... Read more

Three ways to address affordable housing beyond subsidies
   March 12, 2020
Ely Portillo

Charlotte is in the midst of a major affordable housing crunch, and though the city has substantially increased its subsidies for building leaders acknowledge there’s no way to fund the tens of thousands of units we’d need to meet demand. 

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Opinion: Let’s steer clear of the “D-word” when it comes to housing
   March 11, 2020

Post-war zoning effectively made America’s historic neighborhoods illegal. No longer could you live above the store. No longer could you build a duplex, triplex, or quadraplex  amidst single-family houses. Now, most new housing was a homogenous spread of nothing but single-family bungalows. Apartments were all lumped together and quarantined off in a different part of the city. But stroll... Read more

Can we build our way out of the housing affordability crisis?
   February 24, 2020
Ely Portillo
There’s a growing consensus that if we want to get out of the housing affordability mess we’re in, we need to hear a lot more swinging hammers. Policymakers, developers and housing advocates are all talking about the need to build more, and more of everything: single-family houses, duplexes, triplexes, quadplexes, townhouses and apartments. It’s fast become the conventional wisdom that we need... Read more

Single-family construction once dominated Mecklenburg, but that’s changed
   December 4, 2019

Nathan Griffin
After the 2008 recession, apartments came to dominate housing construction in Charlotte, reversing longstanding trends and outpacing the number of single-family buildings. What factors led to this, and will this furious pace of construction be sustainable? Read more

Small towns and rural communities seek to boost affordable housing
   November 15, 2019
Mae Israel
Although housing affordability is often thought of as an issue in big cities, rural and suburban communities alike are struggling with the affordable housing crisis. And, like Charlotte, smaller communities are trying to figure out how to deal with the ballooning problem with limited resources. Regardless of where people are choosing to live, salaries aren’t keeping up with rapidly increasing... Read more

There’s a housing affordability crisis in rural areas, too
   November 12, 2019

Christa Wagner Vinson
Charlotte has struggled with housing affordability in recent years, as the city faces rising rents and home prices driven by rapid growth and low supply.  But urban areas are not the only places grappling with these challenges, even though affordable housing is typically seen as an urban problem. Rural areas in the Carolinas Urban-Rural Connection study region are also experiencing a... Read more

Charlotte suburbs grow faster as developers seek cheap land
   October 9, 2019

Nathan Griffin
Development has been sprawling. Places that were once rural now seem urban. Take Fort Mill, S.C., whose population, according to the American Community Survey, has nearly doubled since 2010. Many small towns have grown into bustling suburbs as developers search for large tracts of land to build residential communities. As the population grows, low-cost land and high volume are necessary to meet... Read more

High rent, cost burdens, and inadequate supply: Five new, key facts about housing
   September 26, 2019
Ely Portillo
Charlotte and Mecklenburg County are still facing a large gap between the supply of affordable housing and the number of residents who need it, as inreasing rents and a tight housing market are squeezing more families’ budgets and putting them at risk of housing instability, evicion and homelessness.  Read more