Report: COVID-19 pandemic has ‘exacerbated’ homelessness, housing instability in Charlotte, Mecklenburg County – WBTV

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) – Mecklenburg County leaders have released the 2021 Charlotte-Mecklenburg State of Housing Instability and Homelessness Report.

According to the report, 3,137 people were actively experiencing homelessness as of June 2021. That is up 55% from the 2,025 people who were homeless in June 2020.

Households currently experiencing homelessness are primarily adults between the ages of 25 to 54, consisting of 46 percent of the total, and Black or African American, making up 77 percent, the report states.

As of July 2021, there were an estimated 28,174 Mecklenburg County households behind on rent, owing an average of $3,589, the report stated.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated housing instability and homelessness in Charlotte-Mecklenburg,” the report stated.

Related: Residents of Charlotte’s “Tent City” required to leave property within 72 hours due to rodent infestation

Researchers said that Black and Hispanic households and low-income households – especially those with children – have been most severely impacted by job loss related to the pandemic and are most at risk for eviction.

The report also noted that the cost of rental properties is steadily rising. Between 2015 and 2019, the median gross monthly rent in Mecklenburg County increased an average of $30.25 per year, while the minimum wage remained at $7.25 per hour.

“As of 2019, the median gross rent in Mecklenburg County was $1,191 per month,” the report stated. “The price of rent is influenced by the availability of affordable housing.”

Researchers said one of the report’s key findings is that housing problems have been exposed that were hidden prior to the pandemic, as well as resulting in the allocation of millions of dollars to support households facing both housing and instability and homelessness in Charlotte-Mecklenburg County.

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