About Finding Home

Charlotte has an affordable housing crisis. We hear that a lot and for good reason. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, since 1990, home values have increased 36 percent, while median household income has gone up only 4 percent. The appearance of prosperity with new development masks the fact that people are being priced out of their neighborhoods.

The city has made some progress in the last few years. It’s added about 5,000 affordable housing units. But there’s still a shortfall of about 24,000.

WFAE is taking a year-long look at this problem through our series, Finding Home. Every Monday in 2019, we’ll have stories that examine the problem, seek solutions, and bring you stories from neighborhoods small and large, both in and outside Charlotte.

Latest Articles

Lake Arbor Closing Sends A Flood Of Tenants Into A Tight Rental Market
Despite announcements of new projects this year, affordable housing remains in short supply in Charlotte as the city loses existing units to redevelopment. The housing squeeze got even tighter two weeks ago when owners of the run-down Lake Arbor Apartments...
Read More "Lake Arbor Closing Sends A Flood Of Tenants Into A Tight Rental Market"
Building Financial Stability A Challenge To Aspiring Homeowners
Many people have been left behind as the Charlotte region has thrived and housing costs have boomed. One response has been to increase Charlotte's affordable housing stock, but it's also important to help people achieve financial stability. Claudie Johnson heads...
Read More "Building Financial Stability A Challenge To Aspiring Homeowners"
‘Up-Zoning’ Can Have Mixed Results For Housing Costs
In Charlotte, 84% of residential land is zoned for single-family homes. City planners here have tossed around the idea of opening those neighborhoods up to other types of housing – more duplexes and some triplexes, for example. Many cities across...
Read More "‘Up-Zoning’ Can Have Mixed Results For Housing Costs"
SocialServe Helps Renters Nationwide. What Barriers Stand Out In Charlotte?
Finding affordable housing in Charlotte is often a daunting task, with the city estimating the supply to be at least 24,000 units short of what is needed. One organization that helps those looking for a place is SocialServe. It’s a...
Read More "SocialServe Helps Renters Nationwide. What Barriers Stand Out In Charlotte?"
Rock Hill Developing Homes At Abandoned Mill Site
Charlotte’s affordable housing problems often spill over to surrounding communities as people move further out to those areas, driving up demand for housing and ultimately costs. Across the border in Rock Hill, South Carolina, city officials say the population there...
Read More "Rock Hill Developing Homes At Abandoned Mill Site"
‘Serial Evictions’ A Money-Maker For Corporate Landlords
If you're looking for a home to rent there's an increasing chance it's going to be owned by a large corporation. A new report shows that 15% of Charlotte homes sold last year were purchased by investors, and investors purchased...
Read More "‘Serial Evictions’ A Money-Maker For Corporate Landlords"
Charlotte’s Affordable Housing Chief Talks Progress, Challenges
There's a good chance you've heard the voice of Pamela Wideman in stories for Finding Home, our series in which we look at affordable housing in the Charlotte region. Wideman is the director of housing and neighborhood services for Charlotte....
Read More "Charlotte’s Affordable Housing Chief Talks Progress, Challenges"
Decisions That Contributed To Charlotte’s Housing Crisis
In this installment of "Finding Home," we look at decisions that have contributed to Charlotte's affordable housing crises.
Read More "Decisions That Contributed To Charlotte’s Housing Crisis"
To Prevent Squalid Housing, Charlotte Looks To Strengthen Code
Last year residents of the Lake Arbor apartments off Tuckaseegee Road pleaded with the city to force the property owner to make repairs. They said their apartments had broken air conditioners in the summer. Faulty wiring along with bugs and...
Read More "To Prevent Squalid Housing, Charlotte Looks To Strengthen Code"
Land Trust Raising Money, Acquiring Property To Preserve West Charlotte
Charlotte's West Side Community Land Trust has begun acquiring land and raising money for its efforts to fight gentrification in west Charlotte. The 2½ year old nonprofit has a $2.5 million plan to develop 50 affordable single-family homes over the...
Read More "Land Trust Raising Money, Acquiring Property To Preserve West Charlotte"
How Charlotte’s Affordable Housing Shortage Impacts Gaston, Cleveland Counties
Charlotte’s lack of affordable housing has some far-reaching ripples. Communities surrounding Mecklenburg County are growing faster, as people look farther out for homes that fit their budgets. That’s created some of the same problems Charlotte is grappling with – and...
Read More "How Charlotte’s Affordable Housing Shortage Impacts Gaston, Cleveland Counties"
Habitat Repair Programs Help Preserve Affordable Houses
Affordable housing efforts across the Charlotte region often focus on building new homes. But the city of Charlotte and surrounding towns increasingly are working to preserve existing housing so it’s not lost to gentrification. Habitat for Humanity chapters are partners, through Critical Home Repair programs, that are shifting the organization’s …
Read More "Habitat Repair Programs Help Preserve Affordable Houses"
Ex-Offenders Still Face Challenges Finding Housing Despite Change In HUD Policy
In 2016, the Department of Housing and Urban Development issued guidelines saying blanket policies of denying all renters with criminal backgrounds might in effect be committing discrimination because of the disproportionally high rates of conviction among people of color. But...
Read More "Ex-Offenders Still Face Challenges Finding Housing Despite Change In HUD Policy"
An Experiment In Denver Aimed At Adding Affordable Housing Quickly
Cities across the country are grappling with an affordable housing shortfall and seeking solutions. We want to learn about some of the new things they’re trying. Today, we take a detour to Denver, Colorado. There the city is teaming up...
Read More "An Experiment In Denver Aimed At Adding Affordable Housing Quickly"
Developers Use Federal Tax Credit Program To Build Affordable Housing
Charlotte's affordable housing stock is dwindling. One thing that developers are using to produce more affordable rental units is a federal program created in 1986. It provides tax credits to developers when they build low-income housing.
Read More "Developers Use Federal Tax Credit Program To Build Affordable Housing"
Addressing The ‘Homelessness Continuum’ In Charlotte-Mecklenburg
For the last few years, there’s been a lot of momentum in addressing the area’s housing challenges. Affordable housing has become a priority of city leaders but as the region grows, it’s become increasingly harder to find affordable places to...
Read More "Addressing The ‘Homelessness Continuum’ In Charlotte-Mecklenburg"
New Buyers Let You Sell Your House Quickly – With An App
Charlotteans like to talk about how hot the local real estate market is, and for good reason. People are moving here in large numbers - 60 a day by one estimate. That means lots of homes are being bought and...
Read More "New Buyers Let You Sell Your House Quickly – With An App"
Charlotte’s New Plan For Affordable Housing – Invest In Older Apartments
For years, the City Council’s affordable housing strategy was build, build, build. But neighborhoods keep gentrifying and rents keep rising. The average apartment now goes for $1,205, according to Real Data – up about 12 percent in two years. And...
Read More "Charlotte’s New Plan For Affordable Housing – Invest In Older Apartments"
Charlotte Organization Works To Ease Affordable Housing Crisis
There’s been a lot of discussion in Charlotte about how to create more affordable housing. But a lot of solutions take time. The question is where do people go in the meantime when their need is immediate? READ MORE >>
Read More "Charlotte Organization Works To Ease Affordable Housing Crisis"
Fewer Section 8 Landlords Mean Longer Wait Time For Voucher Holders
It typically takes five to seven years of waiting in Mecklenburg County to receive the federal housing voucher known as Section 8. The voucher covers 70 percent of rent and utilities. But rising rents have created a relatively new obstacle...
Read More "Fewer Section 8 Landlords Mean Longer Wait Time For Voucher Holders"
Affordable Housing Crisis Leads To More Homeless Students
The Department of Education reports more than 29,000 kids in North Carolina were considered homeless in the 2016-2017 school year. About three-quarters of those are living with other families because it’s too expensive to live on their own. According to Shantiqua Neely, it’s not...
Read More "Affordable Housing Crisis Leads To More Homeless Students"
North End Is Hot, But Can It Handle Coming Change?
Charlotte's North End is a collection of new and old neighborhoods just north of uptown with about 9,000 residents. It's seeing a flood of new investment driven by its proximity to uptown and the buzz around the redevelopment of a...
Read More "North End Is Hot, But Can It Handle Coming Change?"
Hope Is In The Air As Kannapolis Rebuilds Its Downtown
The city of Kannapolis northeast of Charlotte has seen wrenching change in recent decades. More than 4,000 jobs disappeared when the last textile mill closed in 2003 and its downtown has struggled. But in 2015, the city took matters into...
Read More "Hope Is In The Air As Kannapolis Rebuilds Its Downtown"
The Fight To Save Smithville
Residents of Cornelius’s Smithville neighborhood have endured segregation, sewage problems, civic neglect. Last year, when the state proposed a road through part of their community, few people – not even Smithville residents – would have predicted what would happen next.
Read More "The Fight To Save Smithville"
Small Belmont Is Becoming A Big Draw
Throughout the course of WFAE's Finding Home series, we’ve spent a lot of time discussing gentrification and the people who are displaced from their homes and neighborhoods as a result of it. On this installment of the series, we head to a...
Read More "Small Belmont Is Becoming A Big Draw"
As Tax Values Double, Gentrification Fears Follow In Washington Heights
This is what gentrification often looks like: New $400,000 homes. Maybe a new coffee house. An influx of white people. But in Washington Heights, the early signs of gentrification have come in the mail. Mecklenburg County’s new property assessments arrived...
Read More "As Tax Values Double, Gentrification Fears Follow In Washington Heights"
A Big Data Tool May Help Charlotte Move People Out Of Poverty
The Opportunity Atlas allows you to look at economic mobility at the neighborhood level by parent's income, race, and gender. READ MORE >>
Read More "A Big Data Tool May Help Charlotte Move People Out Of Poverty"
Can The Changing Optimist Park Accommodate Old And New Residents?
Optimist Park has changed a lot since its start as a mill village in the late 1800s. According to historian Tom Hanchett, mill villages and subdivisions built in the area were erected during Jim Crow — meaning the area had only white...
Read More "Can The Changing Optimist Park Accommodate Old And New Residents?"
Cherry Residents Struggle With The Effects Of Gentrification
Growth, development and gentrification have all contributed to the affordable housing shortage in Charlotte. As upscale apartment complexes and expensive homes are increasingly being built, low- and middle-income residents are being priced out of many neighborhoods. One example is the community of...
Read More "Cherry Residents Struggle With The Effects Of Gentrification"
Proximity To Uptown Brings Changes To West End Neighborhoods
On this edition of Finding Home, we visit Charlotte's West End neighborhoods of Seversville, Biddleville and Smallwood — where new construction and renovations have pushed up housing prices, and where residents are still waiting for a grocery store and other...
Read More "Proximity To Uptown Brings Changes To West End Neighborhoods"

Submit Your Questions